Review of Twenty Ten [12k1066]

Headphone Commute (US)

At first, when a thick mailing envelope arrived at my door, I thought that perhaps Taylor Deupree tripled the output of his label. Alas, the man of the hour was Brooklyn based Kenneth Kirschner, who, along with 12k‘s help, of course, managed to release a triple CD, collecting four of his long-form (very long form indeed) pieces. With over three hours of music, the selection of abstract, experimental, and conceptual music takes the listener outside of the comfort zone, peeling away layers of audio veils, meticulously placed to allure. The pieces of Twenty Ten remind me of an intoxicated summer breeze, playing its ode on the lazy morning wind chimes. The music is as accidental as it is deliberate; as automatic as it is thought out; as random as it is methodical. Drones and pitches in the higher registers are cut through with distant string drops, sonic vapors and false hints of tinnitus. 142 unique chords in my speaker are closer than they appear, allowing the sound to decay, and then let the silence speak for itself. On Twenty Ten, Kirschner uses acoustic instruments to study the sonic contours, aural space and its micro-tonal outlines. With each piece titled for the date on which it was started, Kirschner pushes preconceived conceptions aside, leaving the aging piano to claw through the artifacts, and occasionally be interrupted. Although Twenty Ten may not be an easily accessible listening experience for the novice, it is indeed an impressive accomplishment outside of all boundaries and dispositions. Fans of Richard Chartier, Janek Schaefer, William Basinski, and of course, John Cage, will agree…

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