Michael Hersch's music is very individual: highly recognizable as his own and difficult to associate closely with stylistic movements. He uses spare materials to grippingly visceral effect, packing the utmost expression into very simple bits of material. Using isolated clusters or chords, he employs the power of a single attack, or a precisely shaped crescendo, to express his aims. His markings are careful and concise, outlining gentle motions and violent contrasts across a huge dynamic and pitch range. Many of Hersch's works are based on poetic texts. He often assigns a fragment of text to each movement of a work. However, "in the snowy margins" is based on a single quote from writings by Polish writer Bruno Schultz (1892-1942): "thus far and no further./ But what has become of the end of the world..." Hersch's seven-movement piece begins with "haunting", weary sighs that develop into angry explosions and oppressive drones. The fourth movement whisks by like a chilling wind, and the fifth is a series of agonized gasps. A "cataclysmic" storm of passagework then bursts out, followed by a tolling of sepulchral bells that is surprisingly fleeting.