“Compressions & Rarefactions is the fourth release from New Yorker Kenneth Kirschner. Compressions & Rarefactions, refers to the physics of sound: the pressure waves in air that are the physical component underlying what we perceive as sound. This concept was inspired in part by the art of Johnson, whose work is about visualizing the imperceptibly tiny physical phenomena that make up everything around us. The title can also be related to the compositions themselves: this is music that alternates between extreme density and extreme sparsity, using those contrasts as a major expressive element as they alternate like waves of pressure and absence in air. Finally, the title also evokes the very long durations of several of the pieces on the album, including two that stretch to over two hours in length. The titles are listed as dates, leaving a sort of sonic journal impression upon first gaze, the incredible loneliness of the instrumentation at times allows the listener to form free associations much like you would if you were contemplating your thoughts before penning them in your very own journal entry—Kirschner’s ability to create these landscapes challenges the very notion of what we expect from song. His work has been described as “challenging” by some, I argue it’s not the work, rather it’s you and I, who are challenged. Sitting anywhere for more than a few seconds is a challenge for us all! Kirschner’s work tries to invoke sorcery, if you’re hypnotized long enough your emotions and thoughts untangle their chamber of threads and simply unravel through time-lapse; you feel, and feel some more, and you’re not sure how exactly you got there. When an auditory experience can do that to someone, it’s truly more than food for your thoughts or a sponge for feelings, it’s hypnotic in the wildest sense, suspending time from those thresholds of our attention span—if you ask me, I return to the body with new vision and brighter hope having not been consumed by them, you could say my soul grows a little bit each time.”

Purchase: https://12kmusic.bandcamp.com/album/compressions-rarefactions