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QSRL [listen -- CD2 track 1, 5:00-6:06] features a sax soloing over a sliding electronic accompaniment in somewhat the way the voices work against similar backgrounds in the major work, and A New Team Takes Over is a clear pre-echo of My Dear Siegfried in both its politics and its techniques. The other three tracks recapitulate the development of electronic sound production from the analogue systems of the early 70s to current digital effects. They are all very static -- 'inflected drones' is a not-too-unfair shorthand description.

It should be abundantly clear by now that this is not music that everyone, or even a substantial minority, will like. Many, in fact, may deny its right to be called 'music' and the composer might even agree. He says, in fact, 'If you think of sound art' [my italics] 'as encompassing anything that comes into the ears, it can include spoken or whispered or sung language as well as noise, pitched or environmental sound.' But works like this are valuable explorations of new technical resources and stretch the expressive range of our artform.

Copyright © 23 July 2006 Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville, Australia


David Behrman - My Dear Siegfried

XI 129 DDD Stereo FIRST RELEASE (2 CDs) 60'/60' - TT 120' 2005 XI Records

Thomas Buckner, Eric Barsness, Maria Ludovici, vocalists; Ralph Samuelson, shakuhachi; Peter Zummo, trombone; David Behrman, keyboard and electronics; Tom Hamilton, engineering and special effects; Jon Gibson (QRSL); Frankie Mann and Arthur Stidfole (Touch Tones); Katharine Morton Austin and David Behrman (Pools of Phase Locked Loops)

CD1 - My Dear Siegfried: Statement against the War; My Father's Grocery Store; Watercress Well; Letter from S N Behrman, August 22, 1939; Letter from Siegfried Sassoon, September 1, 1939; Everyone Sang; CD2 - QSRL: 5 Pieces: QSRL (1998); Viewfinder (2002); A New Team Takes Over (1969); Touch Tones (1979); Pools of Phase Locked Loops (1972)




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