♫♪  Quin Kirchner - “Together We Can Explore the Furthest Beyond”

Out and up from the 20th Century mothership, “Together We Can Explore the Furthest Beyond” is not a detour into nostalgia but a departure into limitless possibilities and clear skies. It is here, there and elsewhere — somewhere old, somewhere new, with reverence for and reference to what has come before. A graceful flight around the apex point, where home is fresh air.

Time “can move at different speeds, depending on our perception, and we can travel through time in both directions, through memory and imagination,” Quin Kirchner said.

“Together” moves forward in both directions slowly. The seamless melody is stitched with contrails. Each note lingers with tensile strength in the dissipating, fluttering weave.

We get that languid feeling, reminiscent of Mal Waldron’s “The Seagulls of Kristiansund” or Theodore Sturgeon’s “A Saucer of Loneliness.”

But “Together” is not so melancholy; not heart-breaking. “Ultimately, it’s a love song,” Kirchner said — it is but one episode in a double-album-length expedition.

The episode ends with resolve at 3:39 when Jason Stein hits low on the bass clarinet. Cabin walls aboard the mothership vibrate; wings fall back to earth. Sun ray penetrates the atmosphere and turns into parchment, on which a love letter is scrawled, then rolled up and stored in the proboscis, and carried across the graveyard of the ocean.

In Kirchner’s words:

“I wrote this song a long time ago for a large group I would get together from time to time that I called Lost Levels. Our first gig was at South Union Arts in Chicago which was in a really cool old church off Maxwell street by the expressway. I somehow got a gig under my own name there so I decided to assemble a band based on how many people I could fit on that huge stage. I brought an 11 piece band! Of course it gave me a reason to write some new music…

“The song is mostly B flat Major, just a pedal with a slow melody floating on top. Somber yet playful, like a cosmic lullaby. Again, I was thinking of something that a huge group could play and take liberties with. Just a unison melody with lots of space for the players to fill around in. There aren’t lyrics to the song, but I like to think that anyone can imagine their own based on the title.”

The Other Side Of Time, which includes “Together We Can Explore the Furthest Beyond,” will be released on Astral Spirits on January 26, 2018.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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