Review of Postpiano 07.05 [12k2003]

E-I (US)

Here assembled are 11 variations, selected from a suite of 20, all based on “11.11.03” by Kenneth Kirschner. That such a concise and purposeful collection of pieces emerge from the parent already dry, fully-formed and talking, is compelling in the same way as identifying the likenesses and differences between the adult and its fully-grown progeny – just see William Wegman’s early and disturbingly comic family portraits. As such, Skoltz-Kolgen implement an important set of ideas about music origination while exhaling a uniquely breathable, rich, and unified atmosphere. The pieces range from the calm and nearly motionless capture of decays stretched nearly to the steady state to the reorganized emergence of once covert, odd and – no offense – charming, even playful, rhythmic patterns encased by clipped envelopes, chattering left and right, forward and backwards across acoustically lush yet relatively neutral pads, beds, clouds and ghosts. But unlike drone music, the work on Postpiano exhibits a sometimes strict, sometimes submerged preoccupation with structure and with duration. Decidedly not a collection of sustained fragments, relayered into a lasagna d’ambience, the music here is always animate and engaged with form and proportion. New and more familiar forms of distortion play an occasional and contrasting role, as the subsumed waveforms retreat and emerge from the afterglow of their own processes. Importantly, these generally indefinable sounds only now and again reveal their origin to be the result of sometimes typical, sometimes atypical physical contact with a piano, casting a context for the music which allows the listener to apprehend that these sounds are not artificial constructs, but that they originate from the place to which they return: as vibration in air. Ideal work for those who have a proclivity for music actually made out of music, it’s too bad there are only 500 copies available.

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