Boomkat Product Review:
Oren Ambarchi’s peerless label snuffle out new and unreleased archival sweet treats by legendary avant gardener David Behrman, made between 1989-2020 in collaboration with Jon Gibson and Werner Durand.
A true pioneer of computer music, from composition to performance, David Behrman is surely among the c.20th avant garde’s most significant artists. His catalogue spans early electronics to Terry Riley’s ‘In C’, thru the foundational Sonics Arts Union with Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma, and his work on The League of Automatic Composers Lovely Music Inc. releases with Paul DeMarinis a.o., plus the digitised scapes of Maggi Payne, via his teaching at numerous esteemed facilities (Harvard, Colombia Princeton, Mills College, the Technical University of Berlin). Historic credits assured, Behrman continues his unique path with these pieces for Black Truffle, offering longview and up-to-the-moment vantage points on the work ‘Unforeseen Events’, and a wholly new piece spying his work in the modern day, all showcasing the timeless vitality and elusive, in-the-moment ephemerality of his music.
Following up one of our faves of recent years, ‘‘Music With Memory’ and his role in avant-pop troupe ’She’s More Wild’ with Paul Demarinis, Fern Freidman, and Anne Klingensmith, this new side casts back to his “unfinished composition”, ‘Unforeseen Events’ on a lush 1989 recording made in Berlin with saxophonist Werner Durand, whose languorous slyding notes gel with glistening electronics in dreamiest fashion. The work also appears in its 1999 iteration, recorded in New York with Jon Gibson, and expanding it into more fractal, deliquescent designs with darting sax lines echoing the likes of Steve Lacy and Evan Parker, and recalling the languid electro-jazz-fusion of Lifted in the modern day. Finally, ‘ViewFinder / Hide & Seek’ pulls us right up to Behrman’s contemporary work, reprising his duo with Werner Durand for an expansive 20 minutes of alien scaping captured in Berlin and New York, and utilising the ViewFinder - a camera detecting physical motion, triggering changes in electronics - from a 2002 installation, for an uneasy marriage of human/virtual sources.