Events   /  die Reihe

David Behrman und Nicolas Collins

with Matana Roberts

15 June 2019 | performances and talk

Pho­tos © Kathrin Scheidt

15 June 2019 | 8 pm


Karl-Marx-Straße 28
12043 Berlin


Die Rei­he. Beiträge zu audi­tiv­er Kun­st und Kul­tur presents the amer­i­can com­posers David Behrman und Nico­las Collins, with Matana Roberts. The artists play four works for electronics/ and brass.



David Behrman

U E 2 (2019)  (10’)
ViewFind­er (1972, revised 2016) (12’)
both pieces per­formed by Matana Roberts and David Behrmann

Nico­las Collins 

The Roy­al Touch(2014) (12’) Solo elec­tron­ics
Still Lives(1993÷2016) (10’) Matana Roberts, saxophone

The artists in conversation.

Presented Works


U E 2 revis­its fea­tures from Unfore­seen Events, a piece from the late 1980s that linked per­for­mance by brass or wind play­ers to inter­ac­tive soft­ware. The orig­i­nal music was devel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ben Neill and Rhys Chatham and was record­ed for Phill Niblock’s XI record label. The new ver­sion is cur­rent­ly under construction.


ViewFind­er grew out of Pools of Phase Locked Loops, a work for home-made ana­log syn­the­siz­ers that was part of a com­mis­sion to the Son­ic Arts Union mem­bers (Robert Ash­ley, Alvin Luci­er, Gor­don Mum­ma and Behrman) from Hans Otte at Radio Bre­men in the ear­ly 1970s. In its cur­rent form it can be real­ized by one or two play­ers of acoustic instru­ments and one who oper­ates soft­ware on a laptop. 


The Roy­al Touch rean­i­mates deceased and dis­card­ed elec­tron­ic cir­cuit­ry (cell phones, com­put­er moth­er­boards, etc.). Fish­ing weights make nudge­able con­tacts between a sim­ple cir­cuit of my design and the elec­tron­ic corpse.  Feed­back between the live and the dead pro­duces com­plex oscil­la­tions that change in response to the slight­est move­ment of the con­tact points. 


In Still Lives a mod­i­fied CD play­er slow­ly scratch­es through ten mea­sures of record­ed music by Giuseppe Gua­mi (1540−1611). As the CD steps from one skip­ping loop to the next the con­tin­u­ous coun­ter­point of the can­zona is sus­pend­ed in wob­bly har­mon­ic blocks, over which a play­er impro­vis­es.  The text, from Vladimir Nabokov’s mem­oirs, address­es mem­o­ry and mor­tal­i­ty. This per­for­mance employs a soft­ware emu­la­tion of my beloved Sony DT66 Dis­c­man, which recent­ly expired and has proven dif­fi­cult to replace.

New York born and raised, Nico­las Collins spent most of the 1990s in Europe, where he was Vis­it­ing Artis­tic Direc­tor of Sticht­ing STEIM (Ams­ter­dam), and a DAAD com­pos­er-in-res­i­dence in Berlin. An ear­ly adopter of micro­com­put­ers for live per­for­mance, Collins also makes use of home­made elec­tron­ic cir­cuit­ry and con­ven­tion­al acoustic instru­ments.  He was Edi­tor-in-Chief of the Leonar­do Music Jour­nalfrom 1997 – 2017, and since 1999 has been a Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Sound at the School of the Art Insti­tute of Chica­go. His book, Hand­made Elec­tron­ic Music – The Art of Hard­ware Hack­ing(Rout­ledge), has influ­enced emerg­ing elec­tron­ic music worldwide.

David Behrman has been active as a com­pos­er and artist since the 1960s. Over the years he has made sound and mul­ti­me­dia instal­la­tions as well as com­po­si­tions for per­for­mance in con­certs. Leap­day NightOn the Oth­er OceanInter­species Smalltalk, Open Space with Brass andMy Dear Siegfried are among Behrman’s works for soloists and ensem­bles.  Among his sound and mul­ti­me­dia instal­la­tions is Cloud Music(a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Robert Watts and Bob Dia­mond.) Togeth­er with Robert Ash­ley, Alvin Luci­er and Gor­don Mum­ma, he was a found­ing mem­ber of The Son­ic Arts Union. He had a long asso­ci­a­tion with the Mer­ce Cun­ning­ham Dance Com­pa­ny and worked with John Cage on a num­ber of projects. In 2016 he held the Inge Otto composer’s fel­low­ship at the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my in Berlin.

A dynam­ic sax­o­phon­ist, com­pos­er, impro­vis­er, and mixed media sound artist, Matana Roberts’ artis­tic prac­tice aims to cel­e­brate the mys­ti­cal roots and intu­itive spir­it-rais­ing tra­di­tions of Amer­i­can cre­ative expres­sion in her artis­tic out­put . Her inno­v­a­tive work has forged new con­cep­tu­al approach­es to con­sid­er­ing nar­ra­tiv­i­ty, his­to­ry, and polit­i­cal expres­sion with­in impro­visato­ry struc­tures and beyond.

die Reihe.

Beiträge zu auditiver Kunst und Kultur 

die Rei­he. Con­tri­bu­tions to audi­to­ry art and cul­ture is an event series of the Master’s pro­gram Sound Stud­ies and Son­ic Arts at the Berlin Career Col­lege at Berlin Uni­ver­si­ty of the Arts the Audio Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Group at Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty Berlin. A colab­o­ra­tion between the Elec­tron­ic Music Stu­dio, the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Pro­gram and the Master’s pro­gram Sound Stud­ies and Son­ic Arts at UdK. |