On the Other Ocean – David Behrman (1977)


“… To call [David] Behrman a composer might make him bristle, though. In a Village Voice review, critic Tom Johnson wrote, ‘Behrman doesn’t make pieces exactly. He assembles electronic equipment [that] is capable of doing certain things. These things change quite a bit… because he keeps tinkering with the machinery and adjusting his musical goals.’ When Behrman encountered the Kim-1, an early and relatively inexpensive microcomputer that became available in 1976, he quickly adopted it for his live performances. Behrman could now program the computer to ‘hear’ pitches and respond by sending harmonies to two of Behrman’s handmade synthesizers. It could also give chord changes to the players and alter the rhythm of the piece. In small steps, the computer could accompany and interact with the musicians. Two of these performances comprise On the Other Ocean. ‘On the Other Ocean’ and ‘Figure in a Clearing’ date to 1977 and feature Kim-1 engaging with woodwinds in the former, cello on the latter. While computers are now integral to modern music-making, from Pro Tools for editing to the alien ribbons of Auto-Tune that festoon pop radio, On the Other Ocean suggests a parallel world, a path not taken. Behrman and his machine don’t seek to attain the impossible or superhuman, much less strive for perfection. …”
Pitchfork
Lovely Music
W – On the Other Ocean
Soundcloud: On the Other Ocean 23:31
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YouTube: On the Other Ocean 43:03

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