The Air Between

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“In an interview from 2003, Michel Levasseur, artistic director of the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, said that holding such a festival of experimental music year after year was by itself a form of resistance to the powers that be. The same can be said about Christof Kurzmann’s solo album The Air Between. In guise of liner notes, he reproduced Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s letter to U.S. President George W. Bush (just the closing words: “How does fear feel like? How does it feel, ‘Yanqui,’ to know that the war finally enters your home, on September 11th?”), but it’s too convenient to use it as a subtext and search for illustrative clues in the music. Kurzmann’s music can deliver its message by itself, a message that deals with creativity, respect, and freedom simply through the fact that it has been performed and is being made available to others. The Air Between consists of a single 47-minute piece, although there are two break points that could have justified a three-part indexation. Drone-based for the most part, it slowly unfolds long windy sounds, staccato electronic blurts, rhythm-inducing loops, and slabs of textured noise, all carefully arranged to tickle the ear, provoke you, and convince you of the beauty of its architecture. The low rumbles in the last third and the sharp blows that came before them evoke a war-like atmosphere, but that’s as far the parallel between text and music can go. Kurzmann has quite a talent for sound organization, but the piece still has a couple of stretches where the mind wanders off because of the narrow sound palette, but overall The Air Between provides a captivating listen.” FC