Stories » Derek Bermel discusses 'Migrations' with Spokane Public Radio

Top 10 for Apr

Derek Bermel discusses 'Migrations' with Spokane Public Radio

Bookmark and Share
Interview with Spokane PR's Jim Tevenan

Three world-premiere recordings from Grammy nominated composer and clarinetist, Derek Bermel entitled MIGRATIONS released on Naxos includes Bermel's Migration Series for Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra (2006); the song cycle Mar de Setembro (2011), with texts by Eugénio de Andrade; and the three-movement orchestral A Shout, a Whisper, and a Trace (2009), in performances by the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, saxophonist Ted Nash, clarinetist Bermel, Brazilian jazz vocalist Luciana Souza, and the Albany Symphony under its music director, David Alan Miller. 

Bermel's engagement with other musical cultures has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language; he grew up playing jazz, funk, and rock; studied with a wide-range of compositional luminaries, including William Bolcom, Henri Dutilleux, and Louis Andriessen; and traveled extensively to absorb musical traditions from across the globe, including Thracian folk music, Brazilian caxixi percussion music, and Lobi xylophone from Ghana. Of the new album, Bermel writes: "Like many Americans, my family came to the US from distant lands. Migrations is inspired by three artistic journeys-painter Jacob Lawrence's vivid depiction of African American migration from South to North; Portuguese poet Eugénio de Andrade's journeys across the ocean and the soul; and Hungarian composer Béla Bartók's emigration to my hometown of New York City-and by my collaborators Wynton Marsalis and Luciana Souza."

The composer's unique and chameleon-like style range is on full display here and Spokane Public Radio's Jim Tevenan spoke with him about that. LISTEN