Audio Mixer: Mark Kirschenmann.
Trumpeter Mark Kirschenmann plays his instrument solo, using a pitch-to-MIDI converter that allows him to produce a large variety of electronic sounds. His recorded improvisations are purely electronic and quite rigorous technically, but they offer a range of programmatic evocations and musical references that makes them accessible and even humorous. Icosahedron, true to its name, offers 20 short pieces, each exploring a single texture. Kirschenmann here includes some of the pop music references that enlivened his first album, This Electric Trumpet (2005): his trumpet can produce beats as well as electronic textures and melodic lines, and "Split Lip Shuffle" (track four) is a virtuoso effort that incorporates not only a shuffle beat, but two layers of electronics, one high, one low. But much of the material brings a smile rather than (or along with) amazement. Kirschenmann can make his trumpet sound like an electric rock guitar to comic effect, as on "Loud Mouth" (track eight), or can evoke physical unease on "Sick Day" (track 14). Other pieces depict a range of sensations and experiences, from paint colors to bugs in a jar to whistling to a kite, from distance from a loved one to medieval organum polyphony ("ElectrOrganum"). The final "Over Here" is more abstract, but deeply lyrical. It's tempting to say that you might try this if you think you don't like electronic music, but the bottom line is that it's very lively, intelligent music that has a great deal going on, much of which is likely to come through to general listeners. ~ James Manheim