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.
That is about to change. My good friend Lin Foulk, horn professor at Western Michigan University went on sabbatical last year to study classical improv. This year she is teaching a class in it. I had to pleasure of stopping by WMU a few weeks ago to do some improv workshops with WMU students – a wonderful talented bunch!! I was also delighted with another of Lin’s initiatives: she got a grant to hire the stupendously talented and creative Dani Reynolds (the Leonardo da Everything of the Midwest) to video Lin and me doing a series of short improvisations of examples of games from the my Big Book. Now purchasers will have some examples to hear at least one version of this kind of improv, which is in fact mostly like musical conversation. One person says something, the other person listens, then comments, adds something, and the conversation continues.
So: I will begin posting the short videos of our improv game jams. It was great fun to make the videos and I am very grateful to Dr. Foulk for setting it all up and to Dani Reynolds for videoing and editing (including the snazzy cuts between angles).
Here we go. The first of many.
Drone + Melody