David Behrman’s “Long Throw,” performed by himself (computer, piano, violin) and John King (guitar, viola)
Around the time of the commission, in 2006, Behrman was listening to a vinyl double album called "John Cage: Music for keyboard 1935—1948," which he had produced in 1969 for Columbia Records. Especially, he liked "Music for Marcel Duchamp," a spare, elegant piece for prepared piano, which John Cage composed in 1947. At the same time, Behrman was expecting the premiere of his piece "eyeSpace" in 2007 for the sixtieth anniversary of "Music for Marcel Duchamp." This coincidence led him reflect on the close relationship among Duchamp, John Cage, and Merce Cunningham on the long, distinguished trajectory of Merce and his Company.
“Long Throw” has a piano part, which evokes John Cage’s “Music for Marcel Duchamp.” It also makes use of the 21st-century digital technology — music software and sound sensors — and has performance roles for the core musicians of the Company in 2007: Christian Wolff, Takehisa Kosugi, John King, and Stephan Moore. Partially notated and partially based on interactive relationships between performers and laptop software, this piece continues to change after its first performance.
David Behrman has been active as a composer and artist since the 1960s – making sound and multimedia installations for gallery spaces as well as compositions for performance in concerts. My Dear Siegfried, Leapday Night, On the Other Ocean, Unforeseen Events, lnterspecies Smalltalk, Long Throw and Open Space with Brass are among Behrman's works for soloists and small ensembles. In the 1970s, he collaborated with Robert Watts and Bob Diamond on the video and sound installation Cloud Music; in the 1980s, with George Lewis and Paul DeMarinis, he made installations for the DeCordova, Hudson River and La Villette museums. His most recent installations were Pen Light (2002) and View Finder (2006).
Together with Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma, Behrman founded the Sonic Arts Union in 1966. Sonic Arts performed extensively in North America and Europe from 1966- 76. It presented programs again recently at the MaerzMusik Festival in Berlin and The New School, New York.
Aired on rTV: 2008
Performance: Dec. 16, 2007