Unpublished record LP by David Behrman focused on his 70s work with new small, inexpensive devices then known as “microcomputers” equipped with “memory” to be used in live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.