10/30/14

Improv Class Echo (letter)

I’ve been giving my Improvisation for Classical Musicians class for over a decade now, and it is gratifying when out of the blue comes some echo from an alum from the class relating to me something about how they have used improv in their lives. I received this note the other day from cellist Emmalee Hunnicutt:

 

“Wanted to send you a heartfelt thank you for all that I learned from you in the improvisation class I took about 5 years ago.  Here is my first improvised concert that I gave with my pianist friend, Carter (the first piece is Satie Gymnopedie No. 3)”
Thank you so much for providing creative space for and nourishing the beauty that arises from spontaneous creation.  It is something that I will do for the rest of my life, something that deeply feeds my soul.

Continue reading

10/29/14

New Book! Vocal Improvisation Games for Singers and Choral Groups

Vocal Games CoverGIA (Chicago) has just published Vocal Improvisation Games for Singers and Choral Groups by me and my co-author Patrice Madura Ward-Steinmann of Indiana University. More than 100 improvisation games for vocalists and vocal groups. Foreword by Patricia Campbell Sheehan. From the Foreword: “Singers, including choral singers and those with a soloist trajectory in progress, as well as those instrumentalists who find themselves drawn to the potential of giving voice to their musical ideas, will benefit from the playful vocal expressions that are invoked here. This collective of “musical gaming” has the potential of releasing singers to a freedom to be musically playful, and of leading them to the joy of discovery of a full rein of musical parameters that can only happen via vocal improvisation.”

You can order a copy from GIA here.

Kind words about the book:

Continue reading

10/29/14

Classical Improv Jam 3 – Pulsed Drone (video)

Third in a series of duo improvisation videos that illustrate improv games from Improvisation Games for Classical Musicians.

10/23/14

Classical Improv Jam #2 – (video) Drone + Harmonic Series

This time Lin and I trade solos over a drone; the soloist’s notes are limited to the notes of the natural horn, i.e. the harmonic series.

10/22/14

Classical Jam #1! (improv Video)

My book Improvisation Games for Classical Musicians (354 p,. 2008, GIA Publ.) has been out for a while and has enjoyed a certain modest success among classical musicians who would like to start creating their own music (aka improvising). But it has lacked one thing: video/audio examples of what this classical improv thing is. There is of course no one right answer – what it sounds like will depend on whose playing, and even the same players may have wildly different versions of any particular game. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have some examples of a few possibilities of some of the games.  Continue reading

Soundpainting #8: Real Time Loops

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYD_-Bv1dmc&w=420&h=315]...

[ read more ]

Tag: evan-mazunik, soundpainting

Improv Quote of the Day: Appalling

Improv Quote of the Day: Appalling

Education should concern itself with the freeing of the mind for creativity. That makes a whole pe...

[ read more ]

Tag: creativity, education, hugh-downs, improvisation

Improv Quote of the Day: Sad Reflection

Improv Quote of the Day: Sad Reflection

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="175"] (Photo credit: Vince Alongi)[/caption] It is a sad r...

[ read more ]

Tag: arts-education, creativity-in-music, improv-quote, music-education

Improv Game of the Day: The Hands Tell a Story

Improv Game of the Day: The Hands Tell a Story

2 players. Two players sit in chairs facing each other. The game: construct a piece using hand a...

[ read more ]

Tag: hand-gestures, improv-games-2, improvisation

Improv Game of the Day: Substitution

Improv Game of the Day: Substitution

1 player. Using the rhythms of any familiar tune that you can play by heart (all right, use sheet m...

[ read more ]

Tag: creating-melodies, improv-game, improvisation, melody, substitution