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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Jacob Kirkegaard - Conversion [Touch - 2013]

“Conversion” is a collaborative venture between Danish artist Jacob Kierkegaard and the ensemble known as Scenatet. In making this album Mr. Kierkegaard wanted to re imagine some of his earlier works as an instrumental score. Mr. Kierkegaard has a penchant for unusual recording methods and settings. For example, the track “Church” on this album was originally recorded at an abandoned church in radioactive Chernobyl. In crafting this album, he wanted to avoid any deliberate musical or emotional intent. Some might interpret that to be bold, others pretentious. I tried to suspend judgement and dive right in.I guess you'd file this under experimental symphonic music

The first track “Labyrinthitis” sounded like one long tuning session. It wasn’t until nearly ¾ of the track was over that we find some elements of composition, but they come a little too late. I found the second track “Church” to be an improvement from the first. A large part of the track focuses on a foreboding atmospheric drone. The nearly 18 minute track builds an ambient cluster of sound as if steadily being increased through an echo chamber. There’s some discernible instrumentation that appears around the 5 minute mark that reaches it’s climax a little past the midway point and then recedes back into ambient atmosphere. I found this track more enjoyable.


I have no doubts that the musicians on this album are masters of their craft, but nothing really translated to me. I found myself every few moments checking the track time as it wasn’t holding my interest. Perhaps, I just don’t have an ear for this type of music. Perhaps I’m just missing something that someone with a better trained ear would identify as mind-blowing. Unfortunately,  I just don't hear it. One of the interpretations were taken from a track Kirkegaard recorded in a church, which is fitting, because listening to this disc felt like attending mass sometimes.


All in all, this is probably a genius record that I’m a philistine for not understanding or appreciating. Unfortunately, it didn’t have enough variation or discernable composition, to hold my attention for very long. Of course, as someone who obsessively digests wall noise, the irony is not lost on me.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Hal Harmon
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