Meditation on Time and Music

Kenneth Kirschner – Compressions & Rarefactions CD

The following is a reprint of a short essay which I wrote for Kenneth Kirschner‘s Compressions & Rarefactions release on 12k. The essay appears in the booklet of the album, along with similar thoughts by Marc Weidenbaum of Disquiet, Simon Cummings of 5 Against 4, and Kysa Johnson, who is also responsible for the cover art.

Meditation on Time and Music

(while listening to the music of Kenneth Kirschner)

Out of the five senses, I can’t shut out the one. I can sit with my eyes closed, my hands barely touching the ground, my mind hyper-focused on my breath. But the sounds still come. They arrive from inception by way of displaced air pressure, and they enter my ears, and they enter my mind. Further pattern recognition is performed by the brain, until a particular association finds it pleasant, or not…

Somewhere, in between my heartbeat, on the edge of my exhale, time ceases to be. In those microscopic slices of existence, music is no longer present. It is only a rest. Unlike the visual arts, music only persists in time. Any subdivision thereof results in a boundless silence, which itself is unlimited, absolute void…

Music is an active idea which transpires in only one dimension. One composition does not stand to the side of another; it is not above and it is not below. Music is a continuous idea in the dimension of time. But time itself is an idea. Time itself is a formless form…

Transmitted from one mind into another, via the auditory protocol of communication, the artist paints the passing time with a sonic brush of sound. Layers upon layers upon layers of time blanket this canvas with waveforms, carving the noise from the stillness, blending the space into noise again. Somewhere in the mind of an artist, the intention becomes these vibrations in time…

And yet, and yet… while listening to the music of Kenneth Kirschner, one can become lost in time, ceasing to be in its prison of binding. As the shackles of time fall away through the sounds, I am brought back into this very moment, where the void is the present, and the silence is noise.

kennethkirschner.com | 12k.com