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Bernadette Speach: Without Borders

Track List

>Sonata for Piano
>Shattered Glass

Album Notes

A collection of some of the composer's finest work, beautifully performed. The pieces are each gems of instrumental color, original combinations of pop and folk musics with advanced compositional techniques. "Moto" (1982), performed by the Bowery Ensemble, is a study of momentum with lovely patterns and figures somewhere between pointillism and American minimalism. "Pensées" ("Thoughts") (1983), for solo guitar, is a portrait of the composer's husband, each movement representing aspects of his personality; it again achieves that wonderful blending of folk music emotion with an advanced compositional technique. "Trajet" (1983), for percussion and trombone, is a charmingly humorous and, at times, rhythmically dancelike and tongue-in-cheek journey through interactive "colors, patterns and designs...inspired by the motions and movements of our tropical fish." "Sonata" (1986), for piano, is a 12-minute "sonata" in the older sense of the term signifying "soundpiece"; it moves among serialist statements, gently rocking loops that create a suspended-in-the-air sensation, and extended, suspenseful melody. "Shattered Glass" (1987), for percussionist, presents distinct motives of multi-rhythmic character and gesture -- playful, aggressive, and extremely gentle -- which are fragmented and "enhanced, recalled, accelerated, slowed down and sometimes almost entirely eliminated until they resolve into a singular sound." "Telepathy: Poetry/Music Suite" (1987), for reciter and bass, trombone, alto sax, piano, and guitar, is a collaboration with poet Thulani Davis and is in three parts: the first (Contessas and Cardsharks) is a portrait of Malcolm X's early life, the second (Telepathy) is a kind of love poem about people separated by a great distance (with motifs suggesting Coltrane's "Naima" and the descending chords of his "Giant Steps"), and the third (Boppin' Is Safer Than Grindin') recalls dancin' and romancin' and is a mix of blues, rocksteady bass, and advanced harmonic comping. ~ "Blue" Gene Tyranny


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