In some parts of the vast music world, a rejection of traditional forms, which began in the 1960s, is continuing today, sped along in part by the explosive advance of technologies. This trend expanded artists’ tool palettes by sophisticated software, advanced sensors, the Internet, and new physical materials. It is also affecting multimedia installation art, creating new situations to be explored. In this four-day workshop, participants will have the opportunity to look into and explore a carefully selected choice of seminal works.
We will look at two kinds of situational artworks: non-hierarchical live music pieces designed for exploration by performers, and multimedia installations designed for exploration by onsite visitors. Among the former will be Christian Wolff’s pathbreaking cue-based music pieces from the 1960s, Behrman’s pieces combining music software, sensors and acoustic instruments from the 1970s to the present, and two works by Alvin Lucier, “Chambers” and “Heavier than Air”, and a piece for whisperers and carbon dioxide-filled balloons from 2018.
Among situational installations, we will look at Paul DeMarinis’s “Firebirds”, where gas flames act as omnidirectional loudspeakers, “Cloud Music” by Watts, Diamond, and Behrman, where the movements of clouds in the sky cause changes in electronic music, and, hopefully, one or two relevant installations running in Berlin at the time of the workshop.
David Behrman (born August 16, 1937 in Salzburg, Austria) is an American composer and a pioneer of computer music. In the early 1960s he was the producer of Columbia Records' Music of Our Time series, which included the first recording of Terry Riley's In C. In 1966 Behrman co-founded Sonic Arts Union with fellow composers Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma. He wrote the music for Merce Cunningham's dances Walkaround Time (1968), Rebus (1975), Pictures (1984) and Eyespace 40 (2007). Behrman is known as a minimalist composer. His music has often involved interactions between live performers and computers, usually with the computer generating sounds triggered by some aspect of the live performance, usually certain pitches, but sometimes other aspects of the live sound, such as volume in QRSL (as recorded by Maggi Payne on The Extended Flute (CRI807). Many of his significant works, such as On the Other Ocean, Interspecies Small Talk, and others have been released on Lovely Music.