If in case you have any preconception of what a saxophone is meant to do in experimental music, go away it on the door earlier than coming into Andrew Bernstein’s a presentation. The sax wasn’t even designed to do the issues Bernstein makes it do; as a monophonic instrument topic to the finite useful resource of the participant’s breath, it’s inherently averse to polyphonic, longform drone items just like the three that comprise a presentation. However by overdubbing layers of saxophone into dense chords, Bernstein has recast his instrument as a kind of reed organ. As an alternative of the Coltrane-Sanders-Ayler continuum Bernstein tapped on 2018’s An Exploded View of Time and in his work with Baltimore’s Horse Lords, you would possibly as a substitute consider the pipe-organ music of Sarah Davachi and Kali Malone, or Phill Niblock’s 4 Full Flutes, or Pauline Oliveros’ Accordion & Voice, or possibly Homer Simpson passing out on the horn of his automotive on the best way to Duff Gardens.
a presentation feels like a whole lot of issues aside from a solo saxophone album, and but it by no means appears to make a giant deal out of the truth that it’s completely made on saxophone. Except for the breath management required to maintain the notes, this gradual, easy music isn’t notably conducive to virtuosity, and he’s not attempting to coax any sounds from the instrument that nobody has ever thought to coax earlier than. The album hinges on a easy, moderately sensible thought: Why not use this instrument to make this music? There’s no cause it couldn’t have been carried out on a polyphonic instrument, and that’s form of the purpose. The irrational quest of its making is as a lot a part of the enchantment because the music itself.
It additionally fits the stubbornness, obstinacy, and immovability of those three items: the almost half-hour “in flux” and two shorter tracks that set Bernstein’s saxophone in opposition to digital drone tones. When you get a twinge of awe wanting on the Pyramids of Giza or the Three Gorges Dam or the Merchandise Mart, you’ll discover one thing to love on this music. That is clean, featureless stuff, devoid of rhythm, melody, or texture past the sunshine grit in Bernstein’s tone or occasional phasing between two layers of vibrato. The mind begins considering architecturally, and the person layers of saxophone begin to resemble logs in a cabin or posts in a fence. a presentation fires the mind up for a similar cause an isolation tank does: Within the absence of something to latch onto, it begins to fill within the blanks.