Lightning – Borut Krzisnik – Vol. 7 – CC6014


“Krzisnik, also respected by Philip Glass, is defined by Gerald Thomas as the most impossible and “erudite postmodern composer of the recent times.”

“Really unique journey to the limits of our imagination.”


Freedom can be understood as one pleases – one can improvise to break free from a predetermined score or one can program music to break free from physical limitations of an instrument. Yet, the freedom to choose what one does not want is far less important than the freedom to choose what one really wants – it is not about being free from something, but to be free for something.

Borut Krzisnik (1961, Zagreb) is a Slovenian composer of contemporary music, based in Ljubljana. Born into a family of diplomats, he moved frequently during his childhood, both within former Yugoslavia and abroad, before finally settling in Ljubljana. Living among different nationalities and experiencing different mentalities helped form his understanding of diversity, something which certainly contributed to his broad approach to music. He played piano as a child, eventually switching to guitar and building up his unique way of composing. He graduated in Psychology from the University of Ljubljana, but devoted himself to music.

With his unique way of composing, he integrates live playing and music software on computer platform, and breaks free from confines of specific methodology.

Claudio have released eight of his albums to date and he has written music for numerous feature films, dance performances and theatre productions. In his music, Krzisnik creates meeting point for avant-garde and popular music, or else, ‘academic’ and ‘underground’ music. His compositions are characterised by their boldness, intensity, contrasts and unique sound. The symphony orchestra is transformed by computer technology into a “super-real” orchestra, challenging and discovering new territories in symphonic music. Using a polyglot musical language, he draws a common thread through all the contrasts and introduces them to us with inspiring optimism. He has collaborated with Peter Greenaway, Gerald Thomas, Edward Clug, Julie-Anne Robinson and band Laibach, to name but a few.

“The most thrilling thing is discovering and rediscovering the shapes and structures of chaos.”

**Composers Website

Review: Music Web International

This is one of those defiantly genre-bending albums which doesn’t belong in ‘classical’, nor does it answer to the category ‘jazz’, and most certainly not to ‘pop’, although there are elements of all these in Slovenian composer Borut Krzisnik’s vision. By way of orientating myself I’ve had a listen to some of Krzisnik’s other records, such as Lightening and Sacre Du Temps, and with his wide variety of collaborations and activity with film music and dance I’ve opted for ‘classical/contemporary/experimental’ as a way of filing Currents of Time, but many of the references will be far beyond those of the usual. This is, by the way a re-release of a recording which first appeared in 1991 via ReR Megacorp in its ‘Points East’ edition.
With no booklet notes we’re left to the music in its pure form. There are some grungy moments and rock-music derived distortion sounds, but I admire the light touch with which Krzisnik applies his influences. Take a track such as Going Down, which has unmistakably heavy metal sonics but floats for a good part on what sound more like folk-music dance rhythms. If you like the quirky attitude of a group like The Residents then you’ll probably like what you hear on this album. The bass-in-octaves opening to The Play of the Puppets is perhaps the most direct aural fingerprint from this influence, but the little samples and rhythmic patterns which pop up throughout all serve as reminders.
Numbers titled The Bird are solos for sax reed, skilful birdcall cadenzas with overtones of human emotion. Hey plays on hopping rhythms and a tangle of guitar strings, developing into a cinematic sleaze groove. Break to Build (Build to Break) has melancholy mis-tuned string sounds over a minimalist ostinato, turning into a heavy anti-waltz and dispersing into a theatrical layering of samples from pop and musicals and a delightfully dirty sax solo. La Dolce Vita is fuelled by a manic up-tempo oompah-like the soundtrack for the Rabbids Invasion video game, which of course this predates by a considerable margin.
Hun’s Party has a suitably dark mood and teutonic references in its opening and conclusion, though you will also hear the voice of John Cleese emerging at one point. It Comes to the Same Thing works up a swing beat over a bass pattern which becomes overlaid in a sort of canon. Discipline reminds me of Sparks with its synth strings and echo, a sound which, after a syncopated intermezzo, drops into a cheesy faux-ballroom show-dance sequence, the final minutes adding some Tom Waits grit with scraped bass and piano string. Johnny in the Funeral Procession opens with a meandering piano solo, and closes with a suitably heavy slow march. The closing track has a superb rhythmic dance, though for us flautists using a keyboard to play a flute part will never cut the mustard.
Borut Krzisnik is most certainly an artist worth becoming acquainted with, and I’m glad I was sent this as a random ‘see what you can make of it’ sample from MWI head office. Once again, you’ll find as much folk/pop/rock in this mixture as anything else so don’t say you haven’t been warned, but as far as I’m concerned the more important consideration is one of quality. Krzisnik is clearly one of the good guys, and I’m happy to add my name to his list of fans. Dominy Clements.

Claudio Contemporary

The International success of Borut Krzisnik’s series of seven recordings, produced in his studio in Slovenia, was achieved using state for the art sampled sounds by real musicians playing their instruments under ideal conditions together with those of live performing musicians, the result of which gives rise to great freedom of expression, especially in the hands of this masterful composer.

Borut’s deeply intuitive musicality is based on his knowledge of conventional orchestral scoring when combined with pure digital sampling technology and has given us the opportunity to share in his wonderfully imaginative and creative world, which magically amalgamates the DNA of the Slavic idiom into a wonderfully pictorial and futurist composition.

Claudio Contemporary is releasing all of Borut Krzisnik’s current recordings:

Valse Brutal – Vol.1 – Claudio CC6006 (2014)

A Life in Suitcases – Vol.2 – Claudio CC6007 (2012)

Sacre du Temps – Vol.3 Claudio CC6008 (2013)

Stories from Magatrea – Vol.4 – Claudio CC6009

La Dolce Vita – Vol.5 – Claudio CC6010

Lightning – Vol.6 – Claudio CC6014 (2013)

Currents of Time – Vol.7 – Claudio CC6011

Dancing Machine – Vol.8 – Claudio CC6048 (2020)