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David Behrman & Cleek Schrey
ISSUE Project
Brooklyn, NY
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David Behrman & Cleek Schrey
Saturday, April 21st ISSUE is pleased to present an evening with pioneering composer David Behrman in collaboration with fiddler, improviser, and composer Cleek Schrey. Together, the two perform newly-developing situations: re-worked pieces from the past, embedded Appalachian fiddle tunes, and new compositions.

Over the decades, Ive had the feeling that a great door had just swung open for the first time, inviting artists in to a new way of exploring music possibilities, the composer, producer, and innovator David Behrman once said. The first time was in the early 60s, at the moment when transistors first became available. Indeed, Behrman was there at the dawn of electronic music, helping to pioneer the tones, techniques, and processes that changed the way that music is made, perceived, and heard.

Raised in an artistic family, Behrman had studied the rigors of traditional classical music, writing, and copying out parts in the customary manner. But he suddenly found himself swept into a sea change, part of the essential tide that included the likes of David Tudor, John Cage, Alvin Lucier, and Pauline Oliveros. He performed at the ONCE festivals, co-founded the Sonic Arts Union, and produced Columbias pivotal new music series, 'Music of Our Time.' Meanwhile, he developed compositional systems in which circuits and performers interacted in real time, a monumental step in the history of composition.

During the last half-century, Behrman has spread the lessons of his work, forming a roadmap of sorts for subsequent generations of composers and performers. With Robert Ashley, he co-directed the esteemed Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College in the late 70s and has since taught in some of the worlds most essential music programs.

Described by the Irish Times as musician at one with his instrument and his music, Cleek Schrey is a fiddler, improviser, and composer from Virginia. He first encountered David Behrman as a composition student at Wesleyan University. He plays the hardanger d'amore, a custom-built violin with 10 strings (five of which resonate sympathetically). He has spent years studying old recordings of historic sources in addition to many personal visits to the homes of traditional musicians. Cleek is particularly interested in the many open tunings to be found in repertoire throughout Appalachia, in addition to experimenting with new and unusual tuning possibilities. As a composer, his work explores natural and microtonal tuning systems alongside experimentation with the resonant properties of materials.

In recent years, Schrey and Behrman have become close collaborators. Like Behrman himself, Schrey has long been interested in updating antediluvian sounds and systems. He has worked with Behrman to modernize a number of old pieces, including Runthrough 21c, an immersive electronic piece written for the Sonic Arts Union in 1967.

David Behrman is a composer and artist active since the 1960s. Over the years he has made sound and multimedia installations for gallery spaces as well as musical compositions for performance in concerts. Most of his pieces feature exible structures and the use of technology in personal ways; compositions rely on interactive real-time relationships with imaginative performers. Together with Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma, Behrman founded the Sonic Arts Union in 1966. He had a long association with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as composer and performer, created music for several of the Companys repertory pieces, and was a member of the Companys Music Committee during its last years. Behrman has received grants from the NEA, NYSCA, NYFA, the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, the D.A.A.D., the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Henry Cowell Foundation. He was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2016. Audio recordings of his works are on the XI, Lovely Music, Pogus, New World, WERGO, and Alga Marghen labels.

Cleek Schrey is a fiddler and composer from Virginia, now based in NYC. An active force in both traditional and experimental music communities, he collaborates regularly with a wide range of musicians from disparate milieus. Recent engagements include a residency with David Behrman and Anton Lukoszevieze at Londons Café OTO, the Beckett in London Festival with Gare St. Lazare, and solo appearances at the Kilkenny Arts Festival (IRL), Supersense Festival of the Ecstatic (AUS), and the Big Ears Festival (USA). The journal Sound Post has noted that Cleek "possesses a rare combination of traits: deep respect for traditional music and the people who make it, and an unbounded curiosity about new directions for sound." In 2017 Cleek was Artist-in-Residence at the Watermill Center. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies in music composition at Princeton University.


ISSUE Project (View)
22 Boerum Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
United States



Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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