SMALL CHAMBER ENSEMBLE - INTONATIONS (2016) - (2 vn, va, vc)
Duration - 20:00
2 violin, viola, violoncello.
Commissioned by the 92nd Street Y and the Tanglewood Music Center
"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