An Exploded View of Time

An Exploded View of Time

An Exploded View of Time by Andrew Bernstein.
Bandcamp Link: An Exploded View of Time

Solo explorations for alto saxophone from a member of Horse Lords.

These pieces were all recorded in a single day and are purely solo alto sax. (Well, there is some small electronic manipulation of the sound on the track “Deus Ex Machina”, but it is pretty minor tweaking, a sort of long reverb of some of the harmonic content of the sound produced by the saxophone. Initially, I thought maybe it had been recorded in a space with a very long reverb, like a tank or a cistern, to give you an idea what it sounds like.)

On all of the tracks, Mr Bernstein utilizes various extended techniques. Things that we call “split tones”, where the different harmonic components of saxophone sounds are rendered distinct. He utilizes circular breathing on all of the tracks, creating a feeling of continuous sound for the period of the tracks duration.

The feeling of a lot of the pieces is somewhat reminiscent of the work of minimalist composers like Philip Glass, where an arpeggio is initially presented and slowly varied over the course of a tune, as if you were examining the internal structure of a crystal.

The title, “An Exploded View of Time”, to me, brings to mind Marcel Duchamp’s painting, “Nude Descending a Staircase”, where the actions of the subject of a painting, instead of being singly captured, are rendered in incremental steps.

Intellectual, I suppose, but it feels expressive of emotion as well, as he explores the feelings and sounds he can produce.

Technically fascinating, and endlessly interesting, “An Exploded View of Time”, is a great modern work from a young titan exploring the possibilities of the saxophone.

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