Water Bear Press
"Thank you so much for sending me Water Bear... very unique sound...
a blend of classical, new age and avant-garde with a touch of jazz ;-)"
-Laney Goodman, host/producer of Women in Music,
a nationally syndicated public radio show, February 2003.
"Well, it was certainly worth waiting for. Your CD is marvelously creative,
musical, sensitive, clever, humorous and flawless. I enjoyed every cut which
is really rare. The tunes are charming, the rhythms engaging and the
counterpoint...I know I didn't teach you that. Congratulations. Thank you for
sending me such an appealing gift. Thank you for producing such wonderful music."
-Stan Persky, former faculty of City College of NY, via email, February 2003.
"Water Bear's music is Joyful, Transporting and truly OUT THERE!
What a pleasure to listen to Water Bear's Skinnydipping!
It is like it's title... a dive into the glorious unknown of a cool
deep musical pond and emerging at the surface
with that exhilerating gasp of YES! when every molecule in your body is
alive with sound and feeling. I love the diversity
of sound on this CD. I am transported to different
realms as I close my eyes, listen and allow myself to move.
I highly recommend this music to anyone because it covers
so many styles and sounds but it is always uniquely itself.
WATERBEAR...a group unlike any string quartet you have ever experienced.
Jump into Skinnydipping and float on the sound.
-Ellen Booth Church, early childhood educator,
"Water Bear is a string band and a string quartet, a new music
ensemble and a folk music function, an improvising group and the
presentation of a compositional modus. They sound like European
folk musics, like Central and South American musics, like chamber
or classical music, and like rural music from our own puddingstone
of a country. Nevertheless, they sound like themselves."
-Ithaca Times, Bert Patterns, August, 2001
"Water Bear breaks the mold for string quartets: part classical, part jazz,
part folk, they're in a class by themselves, making music that's as subtle
as it is adventurous. Led by violinist Mer Boel, with Ruth Roland (violin),
Hank Roberts (cello) and Tim Reppert (bass) completing the quartet, they're
first-rate improvisors, top-shelf ensemble players and smart, sophisticated
composers, creating music for laughing, listening, and (occasionally)
dancing. It's a heady mix, filled with unlikely starts and stops, crossing
borders from minimalist to reggae, folk to baroque, ambient to post-bop.
"Each of the 13 tunes here begins with a simple theme, matching the letters
in a person's name to a series of notes on the scale; from there, as the row
of tones determines the key, the composer writes the variations, and the
players improvise their embellishments. It's the perfect middle ground
between thinking and being, and playing live the band has created an
incredible sense of ensemble, sympathy, synchronicity. They can sound as
simple as a duo, or as complex as a sextet, capturing whatever the piece
dictates: meditative or spirited, stately or syncopated, somber or
"On bass, Reppert keeps getting better, finding the harmonic
beauty between the notes, while Roberts keeps reaching deeper, exploring the
space between silence and sound, tranquility and restlessness. On violin,
Roland adds classical perfection, blending beautifully with Boel, whose
composing vision keeps getting sronger, richer, more singular. The songs
sound like Medieval canons, like Swedish folk fiddling, like avant-jazz -
but most of all, they sound fully human, lived in, listened to, beautifully
timeless and perfectly of the moment."
-Kenny Berkowitz, Ithaca Times, August 21, 2002
"Much of the music composed by Water Bear, which in any given
piece can sound like chamber or classical music, folk melodies or the music
of the Americas, is based on a system called Name Music. The result is a
rich weaving of tones and improvisation into musical compositions both
passionate and expressive."
-Sally Grubb, Tompkins County Public Library.