Review of Compressions & Rarefactions [12k1083]

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The reading of some reviews or meditations, where more or less famous music writers describe the experiencing of Kenneth Kirschner’s music as if they were in the guise of Burroughs writing a page of literature under the effect of some hallucinogenic substance, as well as the way by which graphic artist Kysa Johnson, who cared the artwork of this release and matches Kenneth’s extreme dilutions of sound in time to subatomic decay patterns, are an interesting explanation of the mission and the vision of this Ney York-based sound artist. You could read them on the booklet of this release, which managed to include of a couple of shorter recordings (shorter if compared to the average length of Kenneth’s psychotropic epopees into sound) in a cd and added a code that could be redeemed to download three other recordings (lasting 5 hours in total…), but I’d like to extract some parts of them in order to give you an idea of what you could expect or you could skip, if you are a lover of concision in music. For instance, Marc Waidenbaum (, after an extremely detailed description of the (both emotional and spacial)set and the setting as a preface, reasonably claify that Kirschner “embraces a sense of periodicity that challenges the listener’s comprehension” before turning back on his meditative path and stating that “if time is Kirschner’s most self-evident compositional tool, then memory is his most active one. As we find our way – that is, find a way – through the immersive, percepting-consuming, periphery-spanning territory of his work, as time passes, as life passes, our sole guide is the work itself”. While Simon Cummings ( sees “paradoxes everywhere” in Kirschner’s output and run through some of them on his interesting track-by-track commentary, I find the conclusion by Mike Lazarev ( particularly guessed to set the emotional fences where Kirschener’s sonic particles or electrons draw their seemingly chaotic circles and microtonal twists: “while listening to the music of Kenneth Kirschner, one can become lost in time, ceasing to be in its prison of binding. As the shackles of time fall away through the sounds, I am brought back into this very moment, where the vois is the present, and the silence is noise”. What could I say more to these fine words? I might say my very first impression, as I maybe felt the some fascination that a baby could experience inside a big and hidden lab of clock repairer, where variation of single gears or steps gradually mutate the “scansion” and the perception of time. Check it out!

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