Artist: Marc Behrens
Title: Unit
Catalog Number: and/41 (and/41a)
Release Year: 2012
Format: CD
Status:  available
Artist: Marc Behrens
Title: Unit
Catalog Number: and/41 (and/41b)
Release Year: 2012
Special Edition Format: CD + 40 Page Book
Status: sold out
Track List: 01. Unit

A journey to the Chinese Qinghai province (Tibetan culture region of Amdo)
was commissioned by the Goethe-Institut China. Its purpose was to
experience the province and to produce art works to be presented at The
Third Guangzhou Triennial, subtitled 'Farewell To Post-Colonialism" in the
same year. The sound installation Unit and a series of photographs
called Cutting Qinghai resulted from this journey, during which I took
photographs and made audio recordings. The installation was presented
from September 6, 2008 to November 18, 2008.

Unit consists of five pairs of floor-mounted frame drums and hanging loud
speakers. The frame drums resonate, depending on the sound pressure
level from the speakers, which hover a few centimeters above them. There
are four sound elements (stones, crickets, cymbals and drums used in the
5-channel audio composition for this set-up, which were auto-selected and
projected onto the frame drums according to an aleatoric script on a
multi-channel DVD.)

50 copies of this release come with a (6.75" x 6.75") 40 page book entitled
Cutting Qinghai. The regular edition of the CD is limited to 250 copies.

CD packaging design by Ana Carvalho.
Book design by Marc Behrens in collaboration with Ana Carvalho.
Just Outside  (January 2013)
A 42-minute recording of a sound installation wherein speakers hung over
fiver pair of frame drums emitted pre-recorded sounds from several sources
(including rocks, crickets and cymbals), causing them to resonate. Man,
would I love to have experienced this in situ. The sounds themselves are
wonderful, having a rounded, liquid aspect, the fullness of the drums' tone
reverberating thickly in the room. The sequencing is large-scale irregular
though with small nuggets of iteration, if not "rhythms" per se. There's
abundant space between segments, imparting a Noh kind of feeling (though
the inspiration derived from a trip through the Qinghai province of China). The
listener feels (gently) propelled between the speakers; given their
appearance, it's not hard to think in pinball terms, a slow, soft pinball
machine. Again, the desire to more directly experience the installation is
quite strong, but the disc performs quite ably and fills one's room with
fascinating and intricate sounds.  (Brian Olewnick)

Vital Weekly  (November 2012)
People like Marc Behrens may seem to move out of our sight, but that's
because they are more and more active in the world of art, building
installations all over the world. Like for instance in China, were Behrens
created 'Unit' in 2008. "Five pairs of floor-mounted frame drums and hanging
loudspeakers. The frame drum resonates, depending on the sound
pressure level from the speaker, which hovers a few centimeters above it,
suspending from the ceiling". In the sound part of this installation, Behrens
uses sounds from stones, crickets, cymbals and drums. It's a five channel
installation and the audio composition consists of 57 figures of varying
duration, which would be automatically selected by an aleatoric script on a
multichannel DVD that feeds the audio into the installation. On this CD we
hear a stereo mix which was recorded in 2009 in a silent warehouse, and
edited to make this piece. This is indeed 'installation music' I was thinking. It
works along a small number of sounds, mainly the frame drum I think. It's an
austere work of minimal sounds, but, mind you, it's not quiet throughout. Only
in the middle it is a bit more quiet than in the beginning and the end of the
CD, but that last no more than a few minutes. This is music to be played at a
low volume, I would think, and have it on repeat for a while (not that the latter
is available for a reviewer!). All of these few sounds occur in various
configurations and after a while it gets something that is perhaps even zen
like. This is perhaps not the most thoroughly composed work by Behrens,
but maybe more something of 'free flow', but it's a very fine work indeed. Even
cut loose from seeing the installation, and it works quite well as a piece of
music. (Frans de Waard)