Boomkat Product Review:
Regular collaborators Taylor Deupree and Kenneth Kirschner re-convene for their first published live recording together, captured on May 9th of this year. The duo appeared at the OFFF Festival in Lisbon, working within the same sort of parameters set out by their post_piano projects. The format of the concert found both artists sat at the same laptop and the same grand piano, sharing both performance and processing duties, although while Kirschner plays using the keys, Deupree tinkers with the piano's inner workings, manipulating the strings within. Having pre-empted the fad for music exploring the relationships between piano and digital electronics with their first post_piano album (pre-dating the Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto debut, Vrioon by a few months) perhaps more than anyone else Deupree and Kirschner always seem able to bring something new and valid to the table. May takes on a suitably complex, continually evolving narrative trajectory, setting acoustic instrumentation in cohesive dialogue with electronic treatments. It all begins with a waifish draught of drones and loose keystrokes being countered by delayed, pitched-up response tones. Its a very gentle, feathery beginning, but soon enough the music begins to accumulate a certain amount of tension, bringing into play more abstract, yet also more textural and tactile timbres as the notes begin to drift apart, ushering us into a less accessibly harmonious, arguably Morton Feldman-esque sonic realm. The piece moves from permafrost drones and filtered, ancient sounding pianos towards a more full-bodied, resonant crackle towards the end, but no one sonic element ever seems to fully commandeer the mix - there's always plenty of detail to lose yourself in. The production and all-round beauty of sound on this record should be given specific praise; it transcends the usual site-specific constraints of a live document - something made all the more remarkable by the fact that the only editing and post-production this music has undergone was to remove a few stray coughs from the audience. The standard of the music on this disc is the equal of either one of the post_piano albums, and it feels like a significant new work in its own right. Very highly recommended indeed.