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Steve on KUT
Hear Steve's interview on John Aielli's Eklektikos show on KUT here.


Quotes about "Decibels"
"Former Joe Rockhead bassist and busy Austin session and rock band 'cellist Bernal blends classical, experimental and rock music around his 'cello playing with an elan, imagination and stunning instrumental proficiency to create vivid, picturesque and evocative instrumental music. Hardly your usual listening experience, yet a wondrous aural adventure."
- Rob Patterson, Texas Music Magazine

Patience is clearly one of Steve Bernal's finest virtues. On Decibels, the longtime local cellist and bassist's fourth album, his neoclassical compositions nurture the space they require. His technique is sparse yet demanding and intensely personal; nothing feels forced or rushed, all of which works in favor of meditative opener "Hidden," for three cellos and bass. "Dreams and Concrete," written and performed with Loren Dent, introduces electric guitar and drums over a 19-minute arc that rattles and hums, while the four-part "Suite for Solo Cello and Subsonic Continuo" achieves a full spectrum of style and sound. Bernal takes a more contemporary approach to "Pluto: Requiem for an Icy World," his lone cello strum slower and more pensive, at times giving way to stretches of a digital, lunar landscape, as if searching for solace amidst the vast emptiness.
- Austin Powell / Texas Platters Columnist for the Austin Chronicle

"In this day and age we the people are inundated with a mind-bending barrage of information that greatly accelerates our life cycle, to the point that we may not notice the beauty in stillness. In the quiet wherein dwells divinity. With "Decibels", Steve Bernal reintroduces us to the mystery and wonder of austerity through melody, tone, texture and space.

"'Decibels' is the mark of a composer firmly in control of his craft, who understands all too well the importance of the fragile balance between sound and silence. We, the listeners, are the beneficiaries of his efforts. This music is like a breath of fresh, clean air and sunshine after years spent underground, as if in a coalmine. Sublimity captured, serenity gained. A masterwork."

- Dony Wynn, Drummer/Percussionist
"Steve is engaged in a complex improvisation which is not really improvised at all, but composed in the silence of his contemplative mind. A power of creation he shares with certain inspired composers of the past, Beethoven and Brahms most notably. He doesn't make-up his melodies, but rather reaches for them from a place beyond conscious arrangement of notes, and as a result something timeless occurs when he places bow to string."
- Dr. Charles Ervin, Ph.D., Master Bowmaker/Luthier
"I don't know what's more impressive : his rapid mastery of the 'cello after so many years as a bona fide Rock & Roll bassist, or the depth and power of expression in his compositions. But none of the back story really matters. Steve Bernal's 'Decibels' is a compelling piece of work on it's own."
- Stephen Belans, Drummer/Producer
"This music is exciting!"
- Graham Reynolds, Composer/Performer/Pianist/Drummer

"This music is so different form anything I've heard in a long time. Truly unique stuff."
- Will Hoffman, Producer/Engineer/Arranger

"This is clearly an 'everything' record. One can hear a lot of stuff! The marriage of traditional 'cello with non-traditional sounds is wonderful. The music really exhibits all the range and technology available for this combination. This is a wicked record!"
- Sam Lipman, Composer/Arranger/Saxophonist/Pianist/Vocalist

"At once hypnotically emotional and jarringly attention-getting. Mr. Bernal's 'Decibels' is a soul-stirring, phantasmagoric aural journey traveling through a wealth of amazing colors. All the more impressive that they are virtually all being created and played by one individual!"
- P. Kellach Waddle, Pulitzer Prize nominated Composer/Bassist w/Austin Symphony/Writer/Editor




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