Exposé Online banner

Alexander Berne — Composed and Performed by Alexander Berne
(Innova 755, 2010, 3CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Composed and Performed by Alexander Berne Cover art

This lavish set presents composer / sound-designer / musician Alexander Berne in a variety of settings, mostly on his own, but with other contributors at times. Taking them in the order listed on the cover, we start with “The Soprano Saxophone Choir,” soprano saxophones backed by subtle soundscapes of indistinct origin. Mournful jazzy sax informed by sounds from around the world lays meditative melodies over the ambient notes that fade in and out. Occasional forays into more rhythmic territory find the saxes chattering and trilling like a flock of birds. This is not really a choir in any conventional sense, where you would expect harmonies and set compositions, just the use of multiple instances of the same instrument combined to create music. Disc two spotlights “The Saduk,” a cross between a saxophone and a duduk developed by Berne himself. It has a mournful sound similar to the duduk, mellower than a sax, and here it is often backed by sounds that are a bit more engaging than the ambience of the first CD. There are even subtle percussion sounds, though nothing approaching a steady tempo. “The Abandoned Orchestra” finishes out the package, and here the rhythmic aspect picks up a bit (even featuring what sounds like – gasp! – a drum kit), though hardly to what you would call an energetic level. The closest comparison I can think of would be the Hassell / Eno collaborations, music which inhabits the intersection of electronic, jazz, and contemporary avant-garde; when it comes to music nearing the ambient end of the spectrum, I find this much more interesting and enjoyable than much of what’s out there. Of course, “interesting” may not always be what you’re looking for in ambient music.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Alexander Berne

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Christian Décamps et Fils - Nu – Décamps is, of course, the longtime lead vocalist and rock-poet emeritus of Ange, returning here to solo-career status (technically, Ange is still together - sort of - I have an album titled Les...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues