"No electronic composer has made more poetic uses of the now-common interaction of live musician and electronic circuitry." - John Rockwell, New York Times
Unforeseen Events is the latest of many pieces Behrman has made with computer software designed to interact in real time with a solo performer. The four sections recorded here were made specifically with Ben Neill's performance style in mind. The electronic timbres are intended to complement the sounds of his instrument --the admirable and humorous mutantrumpet, with its three separately-mutable and playable bells. Refractive Light consists of three small pieces based on an interweaving and overlapping of simple phrases. A musician strikes pitches which trigger responses in the form of sustained tones. The tones die out after a few seconds. While a tone is on it deflects the pitches of other "on" tones, so that harmonic changes occur at the on-and-off edges of overlappping layers. The idea can give rise to a kind of fanning or breathing rhythm which adapts itself to different styles of playing, and to a harmonic vocabulary with dozens or scores of family members.
"The arhythmic (but never jarring) electronic pulses invest the work with a warmth and beauty I'd have thought beyond the capacity of a computer music system to generate."
"One of the beauties of Mr. Behrman's gentle, intricate music is that the listener loses interest in the complex means by which its sounds and textures are produced, and focuses on the music itself. The impression [the] works left was of an anarchic, vital world, observed from a safe distance."