'Tied Shifts' reviews

‘With a background in jazz and rock as well as classical music, the New York-based Bermel is an eclectic with wide-open ears.  The first movement of his two-movement opus began with violin and cello playing the same phrases over and over but that deceptively simple beginning developed into a fast and energetic interplay of all six players, the music developing an engaging rhythm.  Like an increasing number of composers these days, influenced at least in part by the minimalists, Bermel doesn't resist giving his music a sequential logic that makes it easy to follow.  But Tied Shifts turned out to be anything but slavishly predictable, with its second movement incorporating hymn-like material and echoes of Bulgarian folk music.’
The Toronto Star, January 2005 

‘Bermel, an important emerging New York composer, has his own brand of fusion.  Jazz and the klezmer clarinet find their way into his music.  In Tied Shifts, he explored Bulgarian folk styles as a 21st-century Bartók might.  One witnessed not so much folk tunes, but the comet's tail of folk tunes.  Smeared rhythms, harmonies and instrumental combinations are left in tunes' wakes, and they light up the sky.  It’s exciting original music, and eighth blackbird gave it an exciting and original performance.’
Los Angeles Times (Mark Swed), October 2005 

‘…pulsed its way through the Balkans, chock full of ungainly difficult clarinet runs, raw fiddling and crazy stop-time rhythms, songs growing out of embellishments, which grew into more songs.  It all ended with a tolling hymn, part rock song, part Beethovenian exaltation.’
San José Mercury News (Richard Scheinin), February 2005

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