Review of Compressions & Rarefactions [12k1083]

Bad Alchemy (DE)

(Translated from German)

With suggestive artwork, namely ‘subatomic decay patterns’ by Kysa Johnson, the On Kawara offers five further works among the drunkminimists. ‘September 13, 2013’ and ‘April 16, 2013’ as ‘Compressions’ on the CD, three more hours as ‘Rarefactions’ to download. The first densification consists of glazed and crystal-drifting or string-drones, with glockenspiel, piano and xylophone drips. So relaxed that the compression can only mean the compression of a whole day at 29:20. And the sensation that a handful of time can be scooped out of time-lapse and taken breath by breath. As time in time, as personal time, as a moving stoppage, as Morton Feldman time. As an invitation to float with time, to forget her, to surrender to timelessness. ‘April 16, 2013’ seems first as the pulse-minimalistic counterpart. As a raging sound of glass harmonica and melody, of myriads of ticking and dangling little beats. Fascinatingly sparkling patterns like former Steve Reich. As time races as a continuum of fractions of a second, urged, hastily pulsating, euphoric, but also fleeing, inexorably tearing away. Time may be unforgiving, my share in it is not. Demanding that for another 5 3/4 hours is quite acceptable. However, no bigger than two films or a (small) book. The 1 1/2-hr. ‘January 10, 2012’, which is even good 2-hr. ‘July 17, 2010’ and the equally long viola polyphony ‘October 13, 2012’ stretch time to the length of Feldman string quartets, but fill it with the density of events of a wafting pollock screen.

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