Mark Trayle and David Behrman share this concert at Lampo. Although a generation apart, they have collaborated on several music projects in California and Berlin, dating back to their first meeting at Mills College in 1980. Among other accomplishments, Trayle was a pioneer in the translation of early pieces of analog electronic music into the software environments that first became available at the end of the 20th century. Among these was Behrman’s 1968 piece, Runthrough. Here, the program will feature solo work by both musicians as well as collaborations.
Trayle will present selections from two works: Domestic Intelligence is sonic data mining. Bits and bytes are extracted from the laptop, from the Internet, and the audience’s credit cards, then looped, mangled, twisted and reassembled into something like music. Saturation explores the possibilities of feedback softcircuits … no-input laptop music always on the verge of collapse.
Behrman will perform Acoustica, a new piece in which the lines between acoustic music and computer-generated sound are blurred. Acoustica makes use of the capabilities of current-day laptop computers to handle high-quality acoustic sound, recorded live and on the spot or beforehand, in multiple layers and channels simultaneously; to process them in various simple or sophisticated ways; and to combine them with computer-generated sounds of different varieties. The piece moves linearly through a number of sections in which different themes are pursued and different events unfold. Behrman is looking for the places, somewhere midway across the spectrum from fixed composition at one extreme to free improvisation at the other, where performers in a particular personally-designed, software-based situation will be most comfortable and most energized.
Some elements in Acoustica go back 35 years when the work Behrman and his friends were doing consisted sometimes of building homemade analog and hybrid analog / digital synthesizers and of playing them in live performances. The homemade equipment of those days had characteristics resulting from odd limitations. Some of those odd limitations have attracted his curiosity again lately.
Mark Trayle (b.1955, San Jose, Calif.) works in a variety of media including live electronic music, installations, improvisation and compositions for chamber ensembles. In the mid-80s he was among a group of young California composers who pioneered the use of personal computers in music. Trayle helped found computer network band The Hub (1985-1996) with John Bischoff, Tim Perkis, Chris Brown, Scott Gresham-Lancaster and Phil Stone. The Hub, now playing again after a ten year hiatus, was one of the first ensembles to investigate computer networks as a medium for musical composition and performance.
Trayle has performed and exhibited at experimental music and new media venues and festivals in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including recent appearances at t-u-b-e, DEAF ‘04, Resistance Fluctuations, net_condition, Pro Musica Nova, Format5, and Inventionen 2004. His music has been performed by Champs D’Action, Ensemble Zwischentoene, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin and Ensemble Mosaik. Recent collaborators include Boris Baltschun and Serge Baghdassarians, Toshi Nakamura, Wadada Leo Smith and the Rova Saxophone Quartet. Trayle has recorded for the Artifact, Atavistic, CRI, Inial, Los Angeles River, Elektra/Nonesuch and Tzadik labels.
David Behrman (b.1937, Salzburg, Austria) 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 Music of Our Time series of new music recordings, which presented works by Cage, Oliveros, Lucier, Reich, Riley, Pousseur and other influential composers. From 1970-76 he worked as a composer/performer for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and was commissioned to write several pieces. He received a D.A.A.D. fellowship in 1988-89 and an Individuals Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in 1994. Behrman lives in New York.
David Behrman performed at Lampo in September 2003—his first Chicago concert since 1975. He presented Homemade Synthesizer Music with Sliding Pitches and a new version of QS/RL made for cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm.
Organized in cooperation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Sound