David Behrman

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In the collection Music from Japan, Vol. I: Acoustic Instruments with Computer Music Systems, Kazue Sawai, koto, David Behrman, electronics.

In this fascinating and beautiful composition from 1990, 16 of the 21 strings of a Japanese koto are tuned to a set of pitches that the computer software is waiting to "hear." As the performer plays, elements of the music made by the computer -- in a form akin to a three-voiced canon -- are altered in various ways. "Voices halt and restart, speed up and slow down, and change in pitch...this is a piece in which the composer does not tell the performer what to do. The music made by the system has a personality of its own which permits -- but does not insist upon -- a broad style of playing...the (performer) using (his) own imagination and resources will be free to explore within an environment created by the system" (Behrman).