The official R.E.M. site tonight posted a minute-long video sent in by Michael Stipe of the band’s recent recording sessions in Nashville. In typically enigmatic fashion, the clip, seen above, shows Stipe playing high-pitched noises off some kind of contraption (that a reader surely will identify in the comments below) a Korg Monotron analog synth, while the rest of the band and assorted personnel record a round of handclaps — after which Peter Buck asks, “Should we double-track it?”

In an update earlier today, manager Bertis Downs reports that “the band, ably assisted by (producer) Jacknife Lee, (is) in the homestretch of making what sounds to me like a great R.E.M. record.” The Nashville sessions follow time spent recording in New Orleans and Berlin earlier this year. Downs also reports that longtime band photographer Anton Corbijn recently was in Nashville shooting new photos of the group.

The band’s management previously has said R.E.M.’s yet-to-be-named 15th studio album, the follow-up to 2008’s Accelerate, likely will be released in spring 2011.

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