04/7/15

Music Instigator – Interview with Jeffrey Agrell

Bill Arnold interviewed me last month and just published the edited results on his web site, The Music Instigator (there are also a couple of embedded videos of me improvising with Lin Foulk and Werner Elmker). The audio interview is entitled: “Jeffrey Agrell – Improvisation for Everyone”

I’ve only listened to the beginning of it, but I think he did a good job in putting it together. And the title really sums it all up! Thanks, Bill!

03/27/15

Improvisation in F# Lydian with Jeffrey Agrell, horn and Werner Elmker, piano

One of the great things about improvisation is that you can have a musical conversation with anyone who ‘speaks the language.’ I met Werner Elmker indirectly. Werner is an amazingly versatile and talented pillar of the artistic community of Fairfield, IA; my wife (Shari Rhoads) had used his video and photography services for her arts organization Concertia, and she recommended him to me to do some photos for my new CD Soundings. So I connected with him, and it was a very successful photo shoot. As we got to talking, I found out that he was and is both a classical pianist as well as an improviser and fairly quickly we resolved to get together and make (up) music. So I went to Fairfield recently for some spontaneous duets with him. The video here is one of them, filmed on the stage of the Sondheim Center (Werner used remote control; when he clapped, the cameras started rolling. What an age we live in…). We did minimal planning in the improvisations. Here we just picked a scale and started playing. A one-time shot. It was a wonderful session, all the things that improv does so well – a musical conversation where you just play and listen and react and go and create until it seems time to end. I look forward to the next time we get together.

02/26/15

New CD: Soundings (horn improvisation)

My new CD “Soundings” was just released on the MSR Classics label (msrcd.com).

Booklet.qxdIt is an exploration of a new area for me: horn plus the use of various electronic effects to experiment with new timbres, new means of expression.

Continue reading

01/16/15

Creativity Quotes of the Day

English: French composer Nadia Boulanger (1887...

English: French composer Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) in 1925. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You are enriched by all the music you know by heart; it becomes a part of you. –Nadia Boulanger

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember: amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic. –Anonymous

The Earth without Art is just “eh”. –Anonymous

A problem is a chance for you to do your best. – Duke Ellington

Very few people do anything creative after the age of thirty-five. The reason is that very few people do anything creative before the age of thirty-five. 
- Joel Hildebrand

The way to succeed is to double your error rate. – Thomas J. Watson

Soundpainting #14: The Space Between

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNZbfBxIsLc?rel=0&w=420&h=315]...

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Tag: evan-mazunik, soundpainting

Improv Quote of the Day: Strange Inversion

Improv Quote of the Day: Strange Inversion

Music represented symbolically is regarded as more acceptable than music which happens in real tim...

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Tag: music-notation, musical-score, stephen-nachmanovitch

Classical Improv Jam Two 5 (hn + perc)

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Tag: classical-improvisation, french-horn, horn, improv-game, improvisation-games-for-classical-musicians-book, jeffrey-agrell, lin-foulk

Improv Quote of the Day: Defying Convention

Improv Quote of the Day: Defying Convention

Like Grainger in England, Bartok brought with him an Edison cylinder, and he listened as the machi...

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Tag: alex-ross, bartok, folk-music, improvisation, percy-grainger, phrasing

Byrne's Book - How Music Works - Quote #1

Byrne's Book - How Music Works - Quote #1

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="350"] English: David Byrne playing at Austin City Limits 20...

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Tag: david-byrne, how-music-works, improv-quote, talking-heads