Anne La Berge, Blow

Kevin Whitehead

By Kevin Whitehead

on 04.22.11 in Reviews


Anne La Berge

Anne La Berge plays flutes and comes from Minnesota but lives in Amsterdam, where the customarily separate worlds of new composed music and woolly improvising are downright chummy. La Berge premieres new works by modern composers, tours with improvising ensembles and organizes weekly improvised electronica gigs, which gives a broad frame of reference to Blow, music for a soloist accompanying herself via overdubs or samples. It recalls Rahsaan Roland Kirk's multiphonic shrieks on one hand and '60s flute-and-tape pieces on the other — compositions that exploited contemporary flutists 'love of piercing overtones and plosive or fluttery attacks. La Berge is very much of that all-sounds-in-bounds school — reedy watery wavery ones included.

La Berge has great chops and X-Acto knife precision: she can really ram air down the pipe for a brilliant sound. But what really makes these augmented solos so successful is crack timing more out of pop or hip-hop than Bruno Maderna. La Berge hits her marks like a drummer.