Forest of Things Lost and Found by Connor Kissel

Release date: September 3, 2021
Label: Somewherecold Records

Going out on a limb musically usually leaves no space for middle ground. you usually come up with something that is truly intriguing and worth exploring or it is something that jars and disturbs with no other critical effect. In any case, it is risky, both for the artists taking that route, as well as for their (potential) audience.

This is particularly true when you work, modify and incorporate field recordings and found sound into your music. Connor Kissel, nonbinary pianist, saxophonist, and electronic musician from Louisville, Kentucky seems to be certain that this is the only route they want to take. 

It was the route they took with their debut EP ‘Dark in the Light,’ and is something  that is certainly extended on their album ‘Forest of Things Lost and Found.’

As Kissel explains, it is “an album about an imaginary and mysterious place using field recordings and carefully designed and altered sounds. All field recordings were taken in various locations, from my backyard to the parking lot at my job.”

Usually, the trick with such music is what do you put your accent on. Is it the found sounds or the composed part? Sometimes it can be quite hard to find the right balance between the two, and the composers/musicians can find themselves in tricky situations, just like those circus acrobats walking on a tight wire with long heavy sticks in their hands.

Luckily for Kissel, they are able to keep that balance practically throughout this album, with tracks like ‘Transfixed’ particularly excelling. ‘Forest of Things Lost and Found’ certainly is not a light-hearted listen, but one that can bring quite a few rewards.

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