Jherek Bischoff – Cistern

Album Review by Duncan Harman | 07 Jul 2016
  • Jherek Bischoff – Cistern
Album title: Cistern
Artist: Jherek Bischoff
Label: The Leaf Label
Release date: 15 Jul

Just your average cinematically orchestral exploration of an empty, subterranean two-million-gallon water tank? Well, composer/multi-instrumentalist Bischoff (last spotted aiding and abetting Amanda Palmer’s quick-release Bowie tribute EP at the beginning of the year) is hardly coy when it comes to inspiration. “I spent three days in the cistern improvising,” he says. “I found it so interesting how much the space itself seemed to tell us how to play.” 

The result is a suite of modern classical pieces that freewheel on orbits both real and imagined; a caul of percolating strings, woodwind and guitar, circumnavigating in loose patterns. 

Yet despite the confines of its metal tank setting, Cistern is not a claustrophobic proposition, the hints of seascape and ocean swell prominent, from the violin call and answer of Attuna through to closer The Sea’s Son, whilst the manner in which Headless unfurls is reminiscent of Sigur Rós at their most vivid. An album of fluidity, never stifled by dank or dark.