Tristan Perich is the no-joke genius behind 1-Bit Music and 1-Bit Symphony, two works that go well beyond their unusual presentation to explore the nuances of sound generation. As good as those other works are, Surface Image, which is Perich’s first large-scale piano composition, is a huge leap forward–it’s a little more than an hour long, but it goes by in a flash. The work is 1-bit electronics and Vicky Chow’s piano, but it is, like so many other masterful pieces of music, a thing that exhibits emergent properties, surprises in tone, emotion, and sound, with the combinations of the components opening up into wonderful and weird little musical worlds. If you savor that feeling of hearing something truly new–something that makes you feel grateful that there are people who restlessly create and experiment, etc.–then definitely listen to the whole of Surface Image. This thing is a journey (I had a lingering idea of Chow’s piano as a sort of companion throughout the pulse and stutter of the 1-bit electronics), and it’s one of the most exciting pieces of music I’ve heard in a long time.

[BUY Surface Image]