Okkyung Lee & David Behrman

The Graham Foundation

Madlener House
4 West Burton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610

Okkyung Lee and David Berhman share this special concert, an evening featuring solo work and collaborations. Gush or fawn, you decide.

Tonight Okkyung performs an extended cello improvisation, and David offers his View Finder (guitar and electronics) and Freeze Dip (violin and electronics). And together they present Open Space with Cello / Open Space with Guitar, pieces related to Behrman’s Open Space with Brass, which was commissioned for the final performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Armory in New York in December 2011. The music, which 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.

Several elements in these pieces go back 40 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 and Behrman has made an effort to preserve some of them.

Okkyung Lee (b.1975, Daejeon, South Korea) is a composer and cellist whose music fuses her classical training with improvisation, jazz, traditional Korean music, and noise. Lee was born and raised in Daejeon, South Korea, and attended arts schools in Seoul. In 1993 she moved to Boston, where she studied at Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music. Since relocating to New York City in 2000, Lee has been very active in the downtown music scene, performing and recording with artists such as Laurie Anderson, Derek Bailey, Nels Cline, Shelley Hirsch, Eyvind Kang, Christian Marclay, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Jim O’Rourke, Zeena Parkins, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, C. Spencer Yeh and John Zorn.

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. 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. 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 November 2006 with Mark Trayle, and in September 2003 with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm. In the ’03 concert, which was his first Chicago performance since 1975, Behrman presented Homemade Synthesizer Music with Sliding Pitches and a new version of QS/RL made for Lonberg-Holm.

Presented in partnership with the Graham Foundation; organized in cooperation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Sound; additional support provided by New Music USA’s MetLife Creative Connections program