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Twenty Ten

12K 1066CD 12K 1066CD

"Following 2008's critically acclaimed double-CD Filaments & Voids, Twenty Ten sees Kirschner's use of real-world instruments become even more accomplished while still remaining steeped in conceptual outlines, meticulously married with computerized processes that emphasize the natural instruments' flaws. Like most of Kirschner's work, he starts the listener off easily, introducing the instrument or set of instruments for a particular piece with relative pragmatism. However, things don't remain so simple for very long, as the works' harmonic balance gives way to microtonal relationships and beautifully crafted computerized decay. By the end of his long compositions, you find yourself wondering how you got where you were, having been completely drawn into Kirschner's sound-world and thrown out the other side as if tossed into a churning sea. Disc One starts off with the shortest piece of the set (a mere 23:40), 'January 4, 2011' (all of Kirschner's compositions are titled for the date on which they were started). This piece, created with metallophones and xylophones from a local school, is perhaps the most chaotic, and the most natural, we've ever heard Kirschner's music, as two simultaneous layers of subtly microtuned percussive bells roll and skip, sped up, slowed down and playing off of one another. Natural, because there was no computer trickery, only hours of playing and recording edited down to this 'short' length. As almost the polar opposite, the second track on Disc One (the only disc with more than one piece), 'November 7, 2010', takes piano, strings and celeste into severely microtonal territory - at first perhaps a difficult listen, but at the end of the 42-minute piece it somehow all makes sense. It's a dynamic recording whose high-pitched bowed sounds whisper across low piano notes, leaving the listener sometimes holding their breath, afraid to disturb the delicacy."