Kenneth Kirschner — Three Cellos


The New-York based Greyfade record label presents in a new release of American composer Kenneth Kirschner Three Cellos. Now listeners have an opportunity not only to stream or buy music, but to get a limited edition hardcover book with album download. It's a rather unusual and risky experiment in modern times.

Three Cellos is a result of a complex process launched in 2017, almost 7 years ago. At the beginning it was a digital composition by Kirschner, based on algorithmic, generative techniques, also interesting by its versatile harmonies. Greyfade founder Joseph Branciforte recognized the potential of this work, helping Kirschner to combine digital composition and instrumental chamber music in their From the Machine series.

The next step was to translate Kirschner's digital composition into traditional musical notation (score) which could be reproduced acoustically by a cellist in the studio. Branciforte and Kirschner invited excellent cellist Christopher Gross to record the multi-cello piece, transforming it into a very nuanced, carefully produced high-quality album of a bit dark and minimalistic music. At the same time the tracks are rich harmonically, with some emotional intensity. The final result of transformation or adaptation of electronic composition into chamber, neo-classical pieces with some flavors of improvisational and atonal music, sounds impressive!

As a super bonus to music (or better to say the equal part of the album) is a FOLIO, hardcover book developed in collaboration with Penguin Random House art director and book designer Jason Booher. It’s a detailed documentation of the process with the photos by Taylor Deupree and also notations, descriptions, essays, memories and impressions. It is a so-called cookbook of recipes or examples of generative techniques and processes, which could be used by other musicians in their own works and practices in the field of experimental music. And of course, the book itself is a piece of art, a stylish and highly collectible object. Great job by all participants of the project!


Author: Alexei Borisov