Review of Compressions & Rarefactions [12k1083]

The Wire (UK)

The sheer heft of this material is daunting. Over six hours in its entirety, Compressions & Rarefaction is split over two formats, one located on the CD with two pieces averaging 27 minutes in length, and the other being a downloadable set of three compositions, the shortest being 90 minutes. Kirschner’s modern chamber music compositions quietly revolve around harmonics and fundamentals, slowing down the bells, vibraphone, piano and percussive gestures to a glacial Feldman-esque pacing on “September 13, 2012” and setting those same instruments alight on “April 16, 2013” with shimmering staccato and quickened velocity. Clocking in a few minutes over two hours, the languid “October 12, 2013” delights in absence with the musical forms appearing as if being spotlit by a deep space beacon against emptied interludes of silent pauses. Electronics do figure into Kirschner’s work, as on the ice filtered purity of tone found on “January 10, 2012” and the haptic energy of delay saturated, clattering utensils on “July 17, 2010”, polishing up the lo-fi minimalism of Small Cruel Party’s more tempered aggregates. A very impressive collection, to say the least.

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