Mahai, Guitar compositions by Herman Bergman.


Making a CD comprising an entire collection of new compositions, these days, is indeed a daunting task. Making a powerful yet pleasant statement to an oversaturated audience with something completely fresh, is an even greater challenge.


The general term – World Music – which has strong ethnic overtones, implies a certain genre of music making, which is often a fusion of very structured forms incorporating elements from folk music to classical music.


Bearing the above in mind, one listens to Mahai without actually being able to label it as ‘World Music’, yet the term does come to mind one way or another.


This album nevertheless leaves one breathless upon first hearing. The strongest element coming through immediately is a kind of minimalism, the compositions, stark in their simplicity, with a rigid backbone of every note in ‘just the right place’.


To my mind the greatest achievement any composer can muster up is that sense of familiarity that stirs your inner spirit saying to you: “But I know this from somewhere”. Bergman is indeed the kind of gifted composer who seems to manage this effortlessly.


The quality of the recording is superb, the musicianship both accomplished and inspired and finally,

the album is totally acoustic! Hooray!


That old, (and my favourite term, incidentally), namely – ‘accessibility’ – is ulitmately going to see to it that this album will become a firm favourite with lovers of classy music, whatever your taste may be.


Willem Vogel – Dec. 2015