Wednesday, October 31, 2012

David Behrman and Okkyung Lee: collaborative improvisations performed at the Graham Foundation, Chicago

Pictured is “back to the future” David Behrman (b. 1937, Salzburg, Austria) adjusting his set up before performing his “View Finder”  (guitar and electronics) and “Freeze Dip”  (violin and electronics). The  concert took place last Saturday night, October 27 at the Graham Foundation in Chicago.

This exceptional musical performance was part of the Lampo performance series. It was an excellent opportunity and rare privilege to listen and see the collaborative improvisations performed by David Behrman and Okkyung Lee. Collectively the performance pieces were strangely beautiful by conveying a sense of ambiguity and mystery. Perhaps the music is best described the way Mikhail Baryshnikov described Merce Cunningham’s dance performances—as “a kind of organized chaos.”

Lampo’s promotional copy for the event mentions:
The music, which cellist Okkyung Lee premiered with the TILT brass ensemble, mixes and alternates the sounds of one or several acoustic instruments with computer-enhanced and computer-generated ones, in an unfolding sequence of situations, some very free, some lightly-notated. 
David Behrman has been active as a composer and artist since the 1960s and has created many works for performance as well as sound installations. Most of his music has involved homemade electronics and computer-controlled music systems that operate interactively with collaborating performers. 
In 1966 he founded the Sonic Arts Union with Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma. Working at Columbia Records in the late 60s, he produced the “ usic of Our Time” series of new music recordings, which presented works by Cage, Oliveros, Lucier, Reich, Riley, Pousseur and other influential composers. He has had a long association with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as composer and performer and has created music for several of the Company's repertory pieces. 
Both musicians live in New York. The concert was presented in partnership with the Graham Foundation; organized in cooperation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Sound. 

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