Okkyung Lee & David Behrman | Graham Foundation | Experimental | Chicago Reader
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Okkyung Lee & David Behrman 

When: Sat., Oct. 27, 8 p.m. 2012
Price: RSVP at leebehrman.eventbrite.com
Korean cellist Okkyung Lee can move smoothly and persuasively between inventive free improvisation and her rich and lovely compositions; melody, sound, and noise are all equally important in her music, not arranged in a hierarchy. On last year's bracing Anicca (Dancing Wayang), a duo with radical British vocalist Phil Minton, she shadows and prods her partner's garrulous exhortations, confounding the conventional sonic vocabulary of her instrument; on The Bleeding Edge (Psi), a series of duos and trios with saxophonist Evan Parker and trumpeter Peter Evans, she uses quicksilver phrasing and a more traditional timbre, even as she plays the kind of odd shapes demanded by such adventurous company. On Cold/Burn (Feeding Tube) she embeds viscous, slashing lines in a dark, penetrating ensemble drone, alongside violinist C. Spencer Yeh, keyboardist Jon Wesseltoft, and guitarist Anla Courtis. A more comprehensive picture of her musical personality emerges on last year's beautiful Noisy Love Songs (Tzadik), where lyrical improvisations with Evans and pianist Craig Taborn rub up against sweet chamber pieces, including "Upon a Fallen Tree," whose clear-eyed melody is redolent of Chinese classical music. In this rare Chicago appearance Lee will improvise solo and then collaborate with David Behrman, a pioneering advocate of homemade electronic and computer music, to perform his "Open Space With Brass," one of the final commissions of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Behrman will also play a couple of his own pieces alone. —Peter Margasak


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