CD review: Kudirka’s Beauty and Industry

First published in the Guardian on 17 December, 2015

This album opens with a 53-second piece called Tender: sweet, husky, tentative sounds circling in space like a mobile. Later we get Tender Second Version — just 47 seconds this time, but now with more tremble and more pain. Michigan-born experimental composer Joseph Kudirka uses simple terms to say significant things. His music is considered; he doesn’t shout or clutter the edges or overfill the gaps. 21st Century Music is a slow and starkly beautiful cycle of downward shifting intervals; Wyoming Snow was inspired by a drive through a wintry landscape; Beauty and Industry does what the name suggests, alternating soft-hewn gestures against clangy dark ones. The scores often leave a lot open to interpretation there are two or three versions of several pieces on this disc, each one an insight into the astutely calibrated quiet textures made by Apartment House.