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Free Event

David Behrman Lecture/Film

 David Behrman Lecture/Film

The Mills College Music Department and the Center for Contemporary Music present
Mills Music Now

(Jean Macduff Vaux Composer-in-Residence)

Lecture and Film

Thursday, February 14, 2019
Danforth Lecture Hall
Art Department

7:30 pm
The Frog in the Pond (2016)
Terri Hanlon, director

8:30 pm
David Behrman

Why do highly creative people gather in unexpected places and make important work? This question will be explored at David Behrman’s Vaux lecture at the Danforth Lecture Hall in the Art Department. Prior to his lecture, view "The Frog in the Pond" by Terri Hanlon, which showcases the collection and work of Nina VanRensselaer, particularly the work of the California Funk artists she met and befriended while a graduate student in the UC Davis Art Department in the mid-1960s, including Robert Arneson, Wayne Thiebaud, David Gilhooly, and William Wiley. What happened there at that time parallels what occurred at CCM at Mills in the late Seventies — a new and unique body of art work came into being because of unusual circumstances, unusual artist faculty and unusual students – situations that could have jelled perhaps only in California.

Free and open to the public

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Mills Music Now:

Mills College
5000 MacArthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94613


David Behrman

David Behrman has been active as a composer and artist since the 1960s. Over the years he has made sound and multimedia installations as well as compositions for performance in concerts. My Dear Siegfried, Leapday Night, On the Other Ocean, Interspecies Smalltalk and Open Space with Brass are among Behrman's works for soloists and ensembles. Among his sound and multimedia installations are Cloud Music (a collaboration with Robert Watts and Bob Diamond); Pen Light (2002), and View Finder (2005.) Cloud Music was acquired (2013) into the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum. Together with Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma, Behrman founded the Sonic Arts Union in 1966. Sonic Arts performed extensively in North America and Europe from 1966 till 1976. He was co-director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College from 1975 to 1980. Over a period of several decades Behrman was associated as composer / performer with the Cunningham Dance Company and received commissions to compose music for several of the repertory dances. The first of those, “Walkaround Time” from 1968, was revised and restaged in 2017 for the Paris Opera Ballet. During the Sixties and Seventies he assisted John Cage and David Tudor with several projects, among them 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering (EAT) in 1966. Behrman has received grants, commissions and residencies from various sources, among them the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the DAAD, the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Japan / United States Friendship Commission. In 2016 he held the Inge Maren Otto composer’s fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin.

Audio recordings of his works are on the Alga Marghen, XI, Lovely Music, Wergo and Pogus labels; videos can be viewed at and

Terri Hanlon

In addition to her documentary "The Frog In the Pond", Terri Hanlon is the author of two micro features, "Meringue Diplomacy" (2010) and "Inversion of Solitude" (1993). Both integrate performances by a circle of her gifted artist colleagues with music, lighting, camera and costumes. Terri received a BA in sculpture from the California College of the Arts. In the late 70's she co-founded a performance art group, The EVA Sisters (Terri, Fern Friedman and Deborah Slater) based in San Francisco. She met these collaborators while earning her MA in the Interdisciplinary Arts program at San Francisco State, one of the first of its kind in the U.S. The EVA Sisters, named after the astronaut term extra-vehicular activity, also collaborated with David Behrman to produce an early interactive performance art piece, "Looking Past the Future" in 1979. The EVA Sisters project "What House?", based on a feminist "bottom-line" perspective of the art world, toured nationally. In the late 70's and early 80's, Friedman and Hanlon collaborated with composers Paul DeMarinis and David Behrman and performer Anne Klingensmith to produce the record "She's Wild". They also did several live interactive performance versions of that piece in San Francisco and New York. Terri brought an interest in sociology with her when she moved to New York City in the early 80's, creating a series of short music videos based on various aspects of life on the East and West Coasts. Music by Frankie Mann and Rhys Chatham was featured in several of these videos, which were shown on PBS and various downtown nightclubs such as CBGB's and the Mudd Club. At that time Terri became a "computer graphics missionary", working at an early computer graphics company in training designers in corporations like Colgate Palmolive to put down their pencils and pick up the digital pen. That position allowed her early access to the newest technology. She also worked with software designer Jonathan Cohen; he developed pioneering early digital interactive graphics software used in her short pieces "You Pay Rent" and "I Should Have Stayed Home". In the 90's, inspired by the choreography and conceptual work of the EVA Sisters, Terri moved into making larger-scale video / music features under an hour in length. These works incorporated the choreographic visions of Eric Barsness and Carol Clements, the camera work of Howard Grossman and Marc Kroll, and music by a number of gifted composers. The first of these pieces, "Inversion of Solitude", was completed in the mid-90's. Frankie Mann created its sound score and the designer and creative director Matthew Duntemann contributed computer graphics. "Inversion of Solitude" was shown on PBS and at the New York Film Festival. "Meringue Diplomacy" was the second of these larger pieces. It was completed in 2010, after a ten year involvement with digital printmaking, CD cover design and commissioned portraits. While involved in printmaking, Terri started shooting the video in 1997, and in a time line inspired by Marcel Proust completed her scene and animation collection in 2009, working in almost every pre-hi-def format then available, from Video-8 to DV Cam. It is a pastiche, inspired by the life of the great chef Antonin Carême. One could say of this work that it delivers information on two very different levels: one rational, as in traditional documentary, the other painterly, visual, abstract, perceptual. "Meringue Diplomacy" has a music score directed by David Behrman. "Meringue Diplomacy" premiered at the The Alliance Française in New York. Both "Meringue Diplomacy" and "Inversion of Solitude" could be characterized as performance art-based "disjunctive narratives," growing out of the work she had started in the late 70's with The EVA Sisters.The score for "Meringue Diplomacy" features the music of Jacques Bekaert, Jon Gibson, Barbara Held, John King, Laetitia Sonami and David Behrman. Choreography is by Carol Clements. Eric Barsness plays Carême. "The Frog In The Pond" is a homage to her hometown, San Francisco, and the wonderful art and people who influenced her.

Wave Train (1966)

On the Other Ocean

Interpretations: David Behrman Discusses "My Dear Siegfried"