Album Review

Kirkegaard, Jacob – “4 Rooms” – [Touch]

abacus   4/25/2014   A Library, CD


A document of silence in the still catastrophic aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown. Kirkegaard traveled to villages surrounding and visited 4 locations once centers of social gathering and recorded the sound of the rooms, attempting to capture the sonic phantoms of human energy embedded in those spaces. Then, in the tradition of Alvin Lucier’s “I Am Sitting In a Room,” he played the recordings back into those rooms up to ten times and recorded the effects. The physical space of each room is palpable within the audible depth of the pieces. From Church the sonic space is haunting yet magisterial and as on Auditorium the colliding harmonics of tone coalesce into a singular undulating drone. The aesthetics seem to match each locale, Swimming Pool taking on an almost aqueous timbre despite the fact that only a shallow layer of water remained and Gymnasium provides a solid surface slapback that solidifies into a tense ring of boxed tonality. The memories of human activity in each room seem to be embodied in the buildings or in the mere empty space. Aural ghosts of times past.

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