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

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Roy Harper - The Unknown Soldier – Typically Roy Harper doesn't fall into a progressive rock vein, preferring to create an English version of Bob Dylan's never ending hippie dream. But in 1980 he amassed several friends whose...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues