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Concert Wed Oct 24 2012
As we enter the back 40 of Lampo's Fall 2012 season, concert #3 promises not only a fascinating listening experience, but a bonus event that is more interactive in nature. Come to the Graham Foundation's Madlener House (4 W. Burton Pl., Chicago) on Friday afternoon and Saturday evening to listen, learn, and interact with two great artists.
David Behrman is a founding member of the Sonic Arts Union (along with Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma, and Alvin Lucier), who were every bit as influential to to direction of direction of experimental music in the late '60s as the "New York School" (Cage, Feldman, Wolff, Brown) were to the '50s. His discography is slim, but his stature in the world of electronic composition and homemade instrument building is monumental. Perhaps best known for the Wave Train album (recorded 1973, released 1998) and his recordings for Lovely Music label, Behrman composed for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and has been a professor for several decades.
Okkyung Lee is a cellist who has played with a rogue's gallery of New York (and beyond) improvisers, from John Zorn to Ikue Mori to Nels Cline, Derek Bailey and Elliott Sharp. She plays with a very deft hand, flicking handfuls of notes into the audience like a pack of cards while still precisely articulating each note and phrase, speeding through realms of catharsis and intensity.
On Friday at 3 p.m., the two will be hosting a free workshop for the public. Lee will discuss creating "extended techniques" (i.e. unconventional methods of producing sound from a given instrument) with her cello, while Behrman discusses flexible scores and allowing unintentional moments to create new ideas withing your compositions. To that end, audience members are welcomed to bring musical instruments, which they can try running through Behrman's electronic filtering and processing rigs. (RSVP is required.)
On Saturday at 8 p.m., the two will perform several pieces. Lee will create an extended improvisation with her cello, while Behrman performs with two of his homemade instruments, the "View Finder" (guitar/electronics) and the "Freeze Dip" (violin/electronics). For a second piece, the two will perform "Open Space with Cello / Open Space With Guitar," a variation of Behrman's "Open Space With Brass," a piece composed for the final performance of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 2011. Like Morton Subotnick's performance at the Neon Marshmallow Festival last year, elements of this piece can be traced back to compositions from 40 years ago, back when home-built instruments and synths were a necessity, moreso than today, when pre-built synths are within the price range of regular human beings, rather than college music departments. As with the workshop on Friday, the performance is free, but a second RSVP is required.
Here are some samples