Availability

Score and parts on special sale from the Hire Library

Programme Notes

Each movement explores a distinct quality of the human voice, from the breath of harmonica blues to a gospel singer’s melodic thread to vocal cadences in hip-hop. The title comes from a quote from Ralph Ellison about the perception of music. It has been a great joy to collaborate with the JACK Quartet for several years, both as performer and composer.
 
Derek Bermel

Reviews

"The score gives uncannily effective “voice” to the sounds of Harlem, be they a wheezing harmonica, a blues guitar sliding into microtones, throaty and gritty street talk or an absentmindedly strummed banjo, for which the JACK proved invariably masterful musical mimics."
Los Angeles Times
 
"Inspired by a rereading of Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel, “The Invisible Man,” the work evokes the atmosphere of Ellison’s sound world – that of jazz, blues and film scoring touches of the 1940s and ’50s, all refracted through Bermel’s own 21st-century sensibility. Its opening movement, “Harmonica,” captures the blown and drawn chordal sound of the instrument it is named for, but only for a moment: Bermel quickly moves toward jazz rhythms and film noir allusions. The central movement, “Hymn/Homily,” begins on a mournful, sour note, but expands energetically. And “Hustle,” the finale, molds grand, dissonant chords into vehement speech rhythms, which in turn melt into expansive, curving lines."
Portland Press-Herald

Intonations

Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg, Germany)

JACK Quartet

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Intonations

Museo d'Arte Contemporaneo Roma (MACRO) (Rome, Lazio, Italy)

Derek Bermel, Quartetto Indaco

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Intonations

92nd Street Y (New York City, NY, USA)

JACK Quartet

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