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Behrman, David

Music With Memory [VINYL]

Behrman, David: Music With Memory [VINYL] (Alga Marghen)

Unreleased pieces from David Behrman focused on his '70s work with microcomputers: "Interspecies Smalltalk" commissioned by John Cage and Merce Cunningham, performed with Takehisa Kosugi (violin) & David Behrman (electronics); an early version of "Leapday Night", here performed with Werner Durand on saxophone; plus "All Thumbs" for 2 electrified mbiras.

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product information:

Edition of 400 copies with liner notes by David Behrman and photos by the performances as well as original programs of the Music With Memory Festival.

UPC: 769791968509

Label: Alga Marghen
Catalog ID: NMN 152LP
Squidco Product Code: 25270

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: Italy
Packaging: LP
Track one and two recorded at the Eiszeit-Kino, in Berlin, Germany, on May 14th, 1986.

Track three recorded at the Akademie der Kunste, in Berlin, Germany, on January 24th, 1989.


David Behrman-electronics, Mbira

Takehisa Kosugi-violin

Werner Durand-soprano saxophone

Paul Wilson-Mbira

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Artist Biographies:

"David Behrman has been active as a composer and artist since the 1960s - making sound and multimedia installations for gallery spaces as well as compositions for performance in concerts. My Dear Siegfried, Leapday Night, On the Other Ocean, Unforeseen Events, lnterspecies Smalltalk, Long Throw and Open Space with Brass are among Behrman's works for soloists and small ensembles. In the 1970s, he collaborated with Robert Watts and Bob Diamond on the video and sound installation Cloud Music; in the 1980s, with George Lewis and Paul DeMarinis, he made installations for the DeCordova, Hudson River and La Villette museums. His most recent installations were Pen Light (2002) and View Finder (2006).

Together with Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma, Behrman founded the Sonic Arts Union in 1966. Sonic Arts performed extensively in North America and Europe from 1966- 76. It presented programs again recently at the MaerzMusik Festival in Berlin and The New School, New York.

Working at Columbia Records in the late 1960s, Behrman produced many of the "Music of Our Time" series of new music recordings for Masterworks and Odyssey. Among them were the first recording of Terry Riley's In C as well as his Rainbow in Curved Air, and works by Robert Ashley, John Cage, Mauricio Kagel, Alvin Lucier, Richard Maxfield, Gordon Mumma, Pauline Oliveros, Henri Pousseur, Steve Reich, David Tudor, Christian Wolff and other influential composers.

Behrman worked extensively with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, creating music for several repertory dances, from Walkaround Time (1968) to EyeSpace (2007). In 2004, he became a member, with Christian Wolff, Takehisa Kosugi and John King, of the company's music committee, which oversaw music issues during the last seven years of MCDC's existence. During the 1960s and 1970s, he assisted John Cage and David Tudor with several projects, like 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering (EATJ in 1966.

Behrman was co-director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College from 1975-1980 and has returned to Mills as visiting artist/professor several times since then, most recently in February 2013. He has taught also at Cal Arts, Rutgers, Ohio State and the Technical University in Berlin and has been a member of the Milton Avery Graduate Arts Program faculty at Bard College since 1998. Currently, Behrman is working on an orchestra commission for the BBC Scottish Symphony."

-Lovely Music (

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"Takehisa Kosugi (小杉 武久 Kosugi Takehisa, born March 14, 1938) is a Japanese composer and violinist associated with the Fluxus movement.

Kosugi studied musicology at the Tokyo University of the Arts and graduated in 1962.

Kosugi is probably best known for the experimental music that he created in 1960-75, first in the early 1960s with the Tokyo-based seven-member ensemble Group Ongaku (music group) and thereafter as a solo artist and with itinerant octet Taj Mahal Travellers (1969-75). Kosugi's primary instrument is the violin, which he sends through various echo-chambers and effects to create a bizarre, jolting music quite at odds with the drones of other more well-known Fluxus artists, such as Tony Conrad, John Cale and Henry Flynt.

In 1963 Takehisa Kosugi composed for Fluxus 1 a musical piece called Theatre Music in the form of a rectangle of cardstock that bore the trace of a spiral of moving feet. This was paired with the instructions: "Keep walking intently".

Since 1995, Kosugi has served as music director for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and lives in Osaka, Japan. His 1960s career with Group Ongaku is extensively explained in the 32-page essay "Experimental Japan," which appears in the book Japrocksampler (Bloomsbury, 2007), by author/musician/occultist Julian Cope. The book also features a detailed 12-page biography of Kosugi's Taj Mahal Travellers, the music of which Julian Cope describes as being "reminiscent of the creaking rigging of the un-manned Mary Celeste". According to Cope, Kosugi's finest work is the 1975 solo album Catch-wave (CBS/Sony).

Kosugi has received grants from The JDR 3rd Fund in 1966 and 1977. He has also received a DAAD fellowship grant to reside in West Berlin in 1981.

Kosugi received a John Cage Award for Music from Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in 1994."

-Wikipedia (

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"Werner Durand performs his own music for saxophones, iranian ney, and self-made wind instruments since the late seventies. He studied with Ariel Kalma in Paris, Indian classical music in India and Berlin (with Kamalesh Maitra) and Iranian ney with Ali Reza Asgharia. He started to build wind instruments out of plexi-glass and PVC in the early 80s, which led to the foundation of THE THIRTEENTH TRIBE in 1990.

Performing worldwide, he participates in international festival and cultural exchange programs. He has composed music for theater, dance and radio features and is presently engaged in several CD productions and musical projects. Coming from the minimalist tradition, Werner Durands music has evolved into a personal style over the years. Inspired by various kinds of traditional musics and instruments, he started to create his own music and instruments reflecting this. A variety of materials and playing techniques enables him to bring out unusual sounds and with the help of digital delays he can create rich textural and rhythmic pieces, which might recall tribal music from Africa or the Pacific, but at the same time sounding experimental or even (post-)industrial.

His current projects include ASHTAYAMA with Dhrupad singer Amelia Cuni; ANCIENT TRENDS & NEW TRADITIONS IN INDO-EUROPEAN MUSIC with Amelia Cuni and percussionist Marika Falk; the group ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER with Sebastian Hilken (cello and percussion), Hella v. Ploetz (glassharp) and Silvia Ocougne (, a duo with australian gitar(t)ist Victor Meertens , and providing drones for Amelia Cuni..s Realisation of 18 MICROTONAL RAGAS (SOLO 58) FROM SONGBOOKS by John Cage and Fatima Miranda´s CANTOS ROBADOS. Werner Durand has also collaborated with numerous composers/performers including David Behrman, John Driscoll, Samm Bennett, Fast Forward, David Moss, Muslimgauze, Henning Christiansen, Dominique Regef, David Maranha , David Toop & Tom Recchion as well as with visual/ sound artists Michaela Kölmel, Andreas Oldörp and Rolf Julius. He was a member of Arnold Dreyblatts Orchestra of Excited Strings from 1990- 1997. In 1989 he received a grant from the city of Berlin for the Cité des Arts, Paris. He was granted a residency at Podewil (Berlin) for 1999 together with Amelia Cuni. For 2003/4 he received a grant for the Worpswede artist colony. He has collaborated in the organization of festivals of traditional as well as avant- garde music in Berlin like "Urban und Aboriginal", "Pipeline" , "USArts" , "Minimalisms " and "Intonations"."

-Last.FM (

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"Paul Wilson aka Fast Forward is a New York based english composer and performer who makes music with almost anything. He is probably best known for his in depth musical explorations of the Trinidadian steel pan and his music-theatre works for diverse instrumentation. Feeding Frenzy, a culinary concert for 5 musicians, 5 cooks, 5 waiters and the audience has been performed in many countries, for many occasions, including the 15 year celebration of Freunde Guter Musik at The Museum for Contemporary Art in Berlin and the Time of Music Festival in Finland. It ran for three seasons at the Kitchen Center in New York. Typhoon Shelter for sextet recently premiered in Hong Kong for soundpocket.

In his solo concerts, he adopts a sculptural approach to creating sound. He examines the sensual, tactile qualities of the objects, then ties the sound of the objects to the physical gesture that creates the sound. The result is a stage presence that integrates the visual element of the performance with the music.

"Forward is the first musician to combine the sweet repetitions of Reich, the raw decibel power of Branca, the randomness of Cage and Wolff, and even the stochastic textures of Xenakis. It's a potent combination,carried out with irresistible momentum." - Kyle Gann, the Village Voice.

Past concerts have included the use of "explosif-hammers" in Berlin, the metal walls of a ferry-boat in the sea of Japan and the cooking of a twelve-course dinner for an audience in New York.

He attended art college in England during the early seventies, focusing on media and performance under the guidance of Stuart Marshall in Newcastle. In 1976 he emigrated to the United States to study electronic music with Robert Ashley and David Behrman at Mills College in Oakland, California. Shortly after that, he and his partner Robert Gonsalves established Pink Noise Studios, a resource and production facility for electronic music and the recording media. He made New York his home in 1981 and has lived there until now.

In addition to his own music, he has produced music and musical events for various artists and organisations. He toured extensively as a guest composer and musician for The Merce Cunningham Dance Company since 1994. In November of 2011 he directed and performed in composer Robert Ashley's legendary opera That Morning Thing as Part of Performa 11 in New York with performances at The Kitchen. In conjunction with The Wooster Group, he curated "The Accident" nine evenings of performance music at The Performing Garage in New York City. He also regularly composes for modern dance companies and choreographers. As a teacher, he teaches master classes in composition, improvisation, and music/theater at various institutions including: Time of Music Festival (Viitassari, Finland), Bergen and Trondheim Art Academies (Norway), STEIM (Amsterdam, Holland), Wien University (Vienna), CNDO, (Amsterdam), Theatre pour Danse Contemporain (Paris), Podewil (Berlin) and New York University.

His work has been honoured with several awards, including residencies from the Asian Cultural Council in Japan and the Kunstlerprogram des D.A.A.D. in Berlin. Music commissions have been offered by the Tenjin Barca festival in Osaka, Inventionen in Berlin, The Time of Music Festival in Finland, The Swiss Institute in South Africa, The Whitney Museum in New York, the Interpretations series in New York, Nouvelles Scènes in Dijon, Alexeij Sagerer/ProT (Munich Theater Festival) and Tigertail Productions in Miami, to name a few. In New York, his work has been supported by New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, New York Foundation for the Arts, Thomas Buckner, Experimental Intermedia, Roulette, the Kitchen, Harvestworks and more.

Noted musicians who have performed Fast Forward's music include : David Behrman, Yuval Gabay, Anthony Coleman, Guy Klucevsek, Takehisa Kosugi, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, David Moss, John King, Ben Neill, Vicki Bodner, David Shea, William Parker, Chris Cochrane and Min Xiao Fen. He has collaborated and performed live with Fred Frith, Takehisa Kosugi, David Moss, Christian Marclay, Rhys Chatham, Samm Bennett, Ikue Mori, Jon Gibson, Pauline Oliveros, Masahiko Kono, Yasunao Tone, Kazue Sawai, Gerry Hemingway, Michael Evans, Ron Kuivala and beyond.

Recordings of his music are available on the RZ (D), Apollohuis (NL), XI (US), Lovely Music (US), New World Records, Nova Era (SP), God Mountain (J), Obsolete (US), Touch (UK), Musicworks (C), Tellus (US), Bring your own walkman (NL) Fever Pitch (US) and Ear-Rational (D) recording labels."

-Paul Wilson Website (

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track listing:


1. Interspecies Smalltalk 23:15


1. Circling Six 16:37

2. All Thumbs 5:26
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"An unpublished record by David Behrman focused on his 70s work with new small, inexpensive devices then known as "microcomputers" equipped with "memory" to be used in live performances and installations.

Side A presents "Interspecies Smalltalk" with Takehisa Kosugi (Violin) and David Behrman (Electronics). A wild intertwine of two worlds of resonance, structure and tonal which is decades ahead of its time. Commissioned by John Cage and Merce Cunningham as music for the 1984 Cunningham Company dance titled "Pictures", it was made to be performed by Takehisa Kosugi playing violin in his uniquely personal style.

Side B includes "Circling Six", an earlier version of a more extended piece titled "Leapday Night". "Circling Six" had six looping synthesizer phrases which could be played along with by the acoustic instrumentalist, on this recording by Werner Durand on saxophone.

"Interspecies Smalltalk" and "Circling Six" were pieces for instrumental performers and a small computer-controlled music system that Behrman assembled during the 1980s. The electronic gear consisted of pitch sensors ("ears" with which it listened to the performing musicians), various music synthesizers (some homemade), a video display and a personal computer. The pieces were made with computer programs governing interaction between performers and the electronics. The software created situations rather than set pieces. The performers had options rather than instructions, and the exploration of each situation as it unfolded was up to them.

Also on side B a short track titled "All Thumbs" for two electrified mbiras (African instruments of ancient origin also known as thumb pianos, kalimbas or zanzas). This piece grew out of a collaborative sound and video installation that George Lewis and David Behrman made for the opening of the Paris science museum La Villette in the spring of 1986. The metal tines of the mbiras were linked to sensors and to a computer music system. In this concert version, played together with Fast Forward, the piece was in several sections. All the sounds in "All Thumbs" were electronically generated.

Edition of 400 copies with liner notes by David Behrman and photos by the performances as well as original programs of the Music With Memory Festival."-Alga Marghen

Edition of 400 copies with liner notes by David Behrman and photos by the performances as well as original programs of the Music With Memory Festival.
Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Quartet Recordings
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
Electronic Forms
New in Experimental & Electronic Music

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