Acoustic Solo

(2018 – La Musa – EU)

Austrian born Bernadette Zeilinger creates pure magic with her techniques. This is the definitin of being inventive, in its highest form and on a most elevated plateau. This is a true to the word solo, with  Ms Zeilinger producing every ounce of sound and syllable. She has taken wind instruments and voice to a new place. She can play many instruments but on this release she stays with a small collection of Contrabass Recorder, Voice Flute, and Pinkullo (a wooden flute mostly found in the Andes).  It is important to know that she uses her voice in unison with each instrument, never her voice alone. In one way or another, Bernadette uses the instrument as an extension of her voice. Far beyond what Ian Anderson does with his flute, and nothing is modified or custom made to create these sounds. Also, no overdubs or other musicians are used on this particular recording. In fact, it is done live in the studio, the same as she does it live in concert. Amazing might not be a strong enough word.

With several degrees in Education (University of Vienna), Recorder (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna) and in Specialized Music Performance (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland/ Music in Basel), she has commanded huge respect and won many awards for her talent. A quote from Fred Frith (who she studied with) says a lot. “Bernadette Zeilinger can hold her own with anyone. She’s an astute and technically brilliant musician who excels on an instrument that’s rare in the field of improvisation, and her creativity, dedication and discipline are inspiring.” (Fred Frith).

So just what does her music sound like here? ‘Acoustic Solo’ goes past all walls, with 14 pieces that range from quirky Black Forest creatures grooving with a pict, to quasi alien 16th century music, unreal blurry time zone free masterpieces and Walt Disney characters speaking unknown languages. It is with this description, I can promise the reader, you have not heard anything exactly like this before. What is mind-blowing, is how complex these compositions are. Words like animated, abstract, stunning, and fantastic, instantly come to the forefront. Use headphones and the experience is even more unreal. One may think of some psychedelic trippy works from the 60’s and 70’s in the experimental world, but this is more accomplished, studied, technical and more aligned to the world of classical. Bernadette is fearless, humongously  talented, and a forward thinker in spectral colours and in astral regions. Admired and Recommended


Reviewed by Lee Henderson  9 – 15 – 2018

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