…Trills are an obvious compositional choice for the evocation of fluttering birds, but Bermel employs them with novelty …The individual sections’ swooping scales seamlessly fit together…Bermel’s imaginative harmonic progressions and shifting accent patterns elevate the seemingly simple finale — a perpetual motion in the minimalist style — to a level of sophistication…
American composer Derek Bermel’s “Murmurations” is one of the most involving new works the SPCO has presented in some time, a deeply involving aural journey that’s meditative and exhilarating, sad and soothing. It’s a piece full of emotion and imagination, arresting melodies and relentless energy. The work simply soars.
Derek Bermel is the quintessential 21st-century musician…staggering eclecticism from a true musical renaissance man.
Bermel’s music is intricate, witty, clear-spoken, tender and extraordinarily beautiful.
With a background in jazz and rock as well as classical music, the New York-based Bermel is an eclectic with wide-open ears.
It’s hard to know what to be more dazzled by in the music of composer Derek Bermel – the range of stylistic voices he cultivates or the profusion of ingenuity, beauty and wit he brings to everything he touches.
Like the best American composers, Bermel has a trickster’s impulse, an irrepressible will to scramble that makes his music such rich traveling.
…a brilliant musical vagabond has made the sounds of the world his palette to create a singular artistic vision.
Bermel, a clarinetist as well as composer, is one of the most original voices of American music.
Composer Derek Bermel may not be a household name yet, but if there is any justice in the music world, he soon will be.
Derek Bermel can make instruments sing. He can make them talk. Laugh. Scream. Sigh. A composer who is also a first-rate clarinetist, Bermel has an exquisite ability to capture the spirit of the human voice in his music.
Bermel’s music is fresh, creative, and uniquely his own.
…the fabulous, Super Audio CD of music by composer/clarinetist Derek Bermel…If Voices, For Solo Clarinet and Orchestra doesn’t have you jamming by its end, it may be time for a one-way ticket to Valhalla.
Bermel is one of the most dizzyingly active musicians on the scene today: Brooklyn Phil made an actual collaboration with Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), with astounding and idiomatic arrangements of his hip-hop material by composer Derek Bermel…which were ravingly exciting. The Bey–Bermel collaboration was astonishing, as blistering a musical performance as is possible.