In 2004, during the Republic National Convention in New York City protest activity included a broad range of marches, rallies, performance, demonstrations, exhibits and acts of civil disobedience in New York City to protest the nomination of President George W. Bush for the 2004 U.S. presidential election. This piece by David Behrman outlines best practices during a demonstration that may involve the police.
David Behrman – Useful Information 2004
David Behrman has been active as a composer, producer and artist since the 1960s. Over the years he has made sound and multimedia installations for gallery spaces, recordings and musical compositions for performance in concerts. Most of his pieces feature flexible structures and the use of technology in personal ways. Among the recordings of his works, published by Lovely Music, XI and Alga Marghen, are “My Dear Siegfried, ” “Unforeseen Events, ” “Leapday Night” and “On the Other Ocean.” His multimedia installations have been exhibited at various galleries and museums, most recently at the Lasuen Gallery at Stanford University.
This piece was made from two sources: one was a radio broadcast on WBAI during the Republican convention in New York in August 2004. In that program a lawyer instructed citizens on how to respond if they were harassed or arrested during anti- government political demonstrations. (On the days following the broadcast, over a thousand New York protesters were in fact arrested and locked up by the police.)
The other source was a musical idea, to use digital audio techniques to make a piece combining live performances by instrumentalists and vocalists with layerings and alterations of the live sounds as they came via microphones into the computer. Joan La Barbara and Peter Zummo performed on the recording and, together with Hans Tammen, provided the three voices — lawyer, commentator and citizen — from the transcribed radio program. Kenneth Babb did the engineering; the piece was made in a Harvestworks residency.