Welcome to a new blog, ‘What’s New at ImprovFriday’. ImprovFriday is a collective of musical artists producing experimental improvisational creative music. ImprovFriday is located on the Ning network at ImprovFriday.Ning.com. Founded by composer/sound artist/musician J.C. Combs in 2008 the community has grown to a member artist base of approximately 150.
One of the things that makes ImprovFriday innovative happens each Thursday afternoon when an invitation known as the ‘thread’ opens as a call for new music among the active collective as well as participants who are always welcome. Work submitted is expected to be created during the ‘thread’ window of Thursday PM through the events conclusion at 10 PST Saturday evening. Music uploaded to the event is under Creative Commons License and is posted on the site homepage for listening as well as eligible for remixing/’mashing’, a very popular trend within the community.
ImprovFriday has an active radio podcast series hosted by Paul Muller and myself, Jim Goodin, who have regularly done post-thread event commentary on the work submitted. One function of the ‘What’s New at ImprovFriday’ blog is to give visibility to the commentary as well as promote visibility for the ImprovFriday community. What follows is commentary on the June 24-26 weekend event.
|Work||Artist(s)||Paul Muller Commentary|
|For Life (In memory of Kim Flint, Founder of Loopers Delight)||Jeff Duke||Lovely mix of guitars – soaring melody, nice cross-currents in the texture. Quiet, thoughtful – with a beautiful ending. A fine tribute.|
|C8H10N4O2||Jeff Duke||Percussive with a sort of clanging iron-like sound. An overlay of space-sounds. Futuristic.|
|Tempor2||Kavin Allenson 1st time participant||Deep, booming syncopated percussion groove with a variety of guitar effects that form an effective combination. Welcome to IF Kavin.|
|Kurtag Phase – to Armin Tillmann||Gyorgy Kurtag/voice, Lajos Rozman/bass-clarinet & Adam Kondor (mixer/masher)||Mournful clarinet playing accompanies phased chanting. The clarinet part seems to be scored at the extremes of its range – well played!|
|Il tempo mi ha detto – for Vanessa and James||Jim Goodin, Norbert Oldani 2x, Kavin Allenson, Benjamin Smith 2x, Bruce Hamilton 2x, Steve Layton, Jérôme Poirier, Jeff Duke 2x & Adam Kondor (mixer/masher)||Initial piano chords remind me a bit of Herbie Hancock. Lots of moving parts to this mix yet they seem to stay out of each other’s way – good ear Adam.|
|The Big Picture||Jim Goodin, David Perreko, Don Bplaektree, Greg Hooper, Roger “ErocNet” Sundström, Bruce Hamilton, Shane Cadman & Adam Kondor (mixer/masher)||Exotic feel set by the percussion. Sax and bass working together nicely. Intriguing, mysterious sounds welling up around 2:00. Entirely new texture by 7:00 – love the keyboard licks. Nice ending. Many sounds but it never feels crowded.|
|disappearing among the masses of people moving this way and that||Roger “ErocNet” Sundström & Adam Kondor (mixer/masher)||Wonderful title. Interesting instrumental mix emerges from under the crashing and plinking. Great cymbal work.|
|The Ant and the Acoustic Loop||David Perreko||Sax and bass interplay holds this together amid various percussion effects. Nice barking effect by the sax at 2:10. Starts to grove at 3:00 with some vocals! Now we are in orbit with bleeps and pings and a shrieking sax. Quite a ride!|
|Who Can Resist?||Alexandra Marculewicz Adshead & Johnny & Faith||Alexandra’s trademark vocals mixed with classic J&F – quite a combination! Resistance is futile…|
|Drone weekend on NINJAM second segment||Don Bplaektree, Lyna & Karl Popper||Like hearing bells ringing in a pattering rain, complete with distant thunder.|
|Piece062510||Shane W. Cadman||Something spacey from Shane this week. Strong declarative phrases in the melody compliment the underlying beeps and blips. Nice arc to the ending.|
|Swig from the Jug||Steve Layton, local yoga instructor, claim rep. and Alexandra Marculewicz Adshead (contributing artist/mixer/masher)||Great vocal compliment to Steve’s patterns and rhythms – the voice seems to hover and float. A little Laurie Anderson at the end?|
|Dream the Jug and Piano||Benjamin Smith, Steve Layton and Alexandra Marculewicz Adshead (contributing artist/mixer/masher)||Ben’s keyboard adds a dreamy dimension to this. The higher voice parts arc nicely over the rest of the mix… Impressive range of tones and textures.|
|As Good as a Holiday||Greg Hooper||Sounds like changing channels on the telly. Sullen, low tone at 2:00 and the conversation turns ominous… Hardly a vacation.|
|Sex-Starved Trailer Trash||Johnny & Faith||Another great title – who can resist? Gets a good beat going by :30 with some solid drumming.|
|Dynamic Trio||Greg Hooper, Steve Layton, Steve Moshier & J.C. Combs (contributing artist/mixer/masher)||Nice combination – effective panning. Provides an air of mystery, esp with Greg’s text.|
|Purpose||Alan Watts (commentary) & Don Bplaektree (mixer/masher)||A sinister bass line contrasts nicely with the cheerful delivery of the text. The commentary makes you think, however…|
|Jug Band||Steve Layton||This has found its way into a number of mixes today. Even, subdued texture with only the suggestion of a melody. Accurate title. Ethereal.|
|Escalators||Jérôme Poirier, Roger Sundström, Steve Moshier, Jeff Duke and Steve Layton (contributing artist/mixer/masher)||Definitely mechanical with a kind of shuffling beat. Love the accordion licks. All the various parts seem to work well together here. Great ending.|
|Restless Natives||Kavin Allenson, Johnny & Faith, Jim Goodin, Bruce Hamilton, Jeff Duke and Steve Layton (mixer/masher)||Kavin’s percussion makes this ominous at the start and still it builds tension. The steel drums (?) add an un-nerving touch.|
|Circular Reasoning||Adam Kondor, Paul Muller, Shane Cadman, Bruce Hamilton, Greg Hooper and Steve Layton (mixer/masher)||Love the clear call of the clarinet and it manages to mix with the oboes. The phased chant pulls this nicely off-center. The metallic sounds contrast with the woodwinds. A graceful diminuendo at the finish, leaving only the drone.|
|Panic Attack||Don Bplaektree, Maha, Lvna, Roger Sundström, Steve Moshier, Fredrik Mikalsen, Tommy Holmgren, Jim Goodin, David Perreko, Paul Muller and Steve Layton (mixer/masher)||Unsettled texture at the beginning with some fine keyboard playing layered on top. Change at 3:00, now quiet but with distant rumbling and Goodin’s beat keeping time – drawn out and suspenseful. The entry of the bass at 6:40 adds some body – more guitar sounds and the saxophone follow, building the tension as the tempo increases. The drone at 9:15 attempts to add some stability but it can’t compete with the other voices and the rising sense of panic crests at 11:00. Well crafted!|
|Audio Piano Improvisation||Adam Kondor and Kenneth Palmer (contributing artist/mixer/masher)||Quiet, introspective – like being in a theater after rehearsal. Turns a bit darker at 4:00 but ends lightly with only the keyboard. Nice mix.|
|Ben.improv.Jun.20.2010||Benjamin Smith||Toy music box sound and high register gives this a light yet somehow somber feel. Mood accelerates to a mild anxiety by about 5:00. The soft sounds just seem to drain away – nice ending.|
|Ben.improv.Jun.21.2010||Benjamin Smith||A more full-bodied keyboard sound, now with echo. Deep, booming bass lines are effective. Still somber in character – could be combined with Jun 20?|
|Flagon Squad||Steve Layton and Jérôme Poirier (contributing artist/mixer/masher)||Interesting combination of 23d century sine waves with Steve’s jug band.|
|Flexible Metal Cartilage||Steve Moshier||To quote James Ross from the Facebook posting: “Clanky metallic goodness, Steve! “|
|Torg||Bruce Hamilton||Big piano sound – straightforward, anthem-like. Almost conventional – coming from Bruce…|
|Drive To||Bruce Hamilton||Bright metallic drone, slowly evolving. Sunny and optimistic. Beautiful diminuendo at the finish. A lovely piece.|
|Forgen Five||Jeff Duke, Greg Hooper, Steve Layton, Paul Muller, Ben Smith and Bruce Hamilton (contributing artist/mixer/masher)||Warm, full sounding at the start, turning a bit sinister by 2:00. Now we have Greg’s spoken part with ominous sounds rising in the lower registers. Last minute filled with Ben’s light keyboard touches.|
|Chrysaora||Jérôme Poirier||The call of a lonely, mournful cello. Like standing on an empty beach.|
|Improvised Vocalization||Norbert Oldani||Sweet sounding – like a French carol.|
|Improvisation of Percussion Textures||Norbert Oldani||Metal ball falls into metal cup in various registers. Interesting mix of percussion textures.|
|Accordion Imp1||Roger “ErocNet” Sundström||Big, full sound – almost like an orchestra! Almost Russian in its grandeur – I’m seeing the Soviet Navy Mens’ Chorus singing this one.|
|Midsummer Song||Kavin Allenson, Steve Layton, Alexandra Marculewicz Adshead & Johnny & Faith, Bruce Hamilton and Roger “ErocNet” Sundström (contributing artist/mixer/masher)||Steve’s jug band certainly gets around! Add in Kavin’s strong percussion and some assorted sounds and you have a powerful beat going. With Alexandra’s vocals a rave breaks out! The subdued ending saves us. Great mix!|
|Work||Artist(s)||Jim Goodin Commentary|
|Chants||Steve Layton||Poltergeists abound!|
|At the Heart of Things||Roger Sundström, Jeff Duke, Bruce Hamilton, Norbert Oldani & Steve Layton(contributing artist/mixer/masher)||Love this. Rides along on Steve’s ghost in
the desert as Roger’s playful accordian enters.
Resolves to Jeff’s peaceful scape with Norbert’s tones entering and
then the poltergeists returns. Yikes!
|On Purpose||Don Bplaektree, Benjamin Smith, Steve Moshier, Jérôme Poirier, Bruce Hamilton & Steve Layton (mixer/masher)||Seeking the truth like Gurdjieff and the wind.|
|Half-remembered||Benjamin Smith, Bruce Hamilton, Greg Hooper, Roger Sundström, Don Bplaektree, Lvna, Karl Popper & Steve Layton (mixer/masher)||Searching, exploring textures, spacial tones looking around every corner.|
|Leeuwenhoek||Greg Hooper||Through the microscope, the world within…
|At the Heart of Things (2nd mix)||Roger Sundström, Jeff Duke, Bruce Hamilton & Norbert Oldani, Steve Layton & Jérôme Poirier(mixers’/mashers’)||Another mix/mash spin on this moving tapestry, this one a bit more edgier but maintaining the same mystery.|
|Didn’t See It Comin’||Steve Moshier||A steam engine, a damp ally, great ‘hit’ percussion sound.|
|Metal Accordion Textures||Steve Moshier, Norbert Oldani, Roger Sundström & Bruce Hamilton (mixer/masher)||A journey up the river in the Apocalypse, shimmering accordion as if moonbeams on the water.
|Begin All Nothing More||Bruce Hamilton||Like memories of wind chimes, pipes clanging, hammered bars on the marimba.
|Window||Bruce Hamilton||Nice balance environmental and tonality, tasteful use reverse
sweep bruce – leading motif on end enters almost ‘through a window’.
|L.A. Strut||Shane Cadman, Kavin Allenson & Bruce Hamilton (mixer/masher)||Southern California Afro Beat! Reminds me of Cartoon Network Adult Swim like music.|
|Used New||Kavin Allenson, Shane Cadman, Jeff Duke, Jim Goodin, Ben Smith & Bruce Hamilton (contributing artist/mixer/masher)||Through the casbar, radio waves, searching, glitch and tribal beat.|
|Accordion Imp2||Roger Sundström||Refractions and chirps in the night.|
|Accordion Imp3||Roger Sundström||Accordion process, Parisian bistro with ‘Rocky Horror’ edge.|
|Midsummer Song||Kavin Allenson, Steve Layton, Alexandra Marculewicz Adshead & Johnny & Faith, Bruce Hamilton & Roger Sundström (mixer/masher)||Buskers on the square, street beat, Amsterdam or New York.|
|Lifeforms||Roger Sundström||Live or memorex, but a cool feel, very free and love way the
guitar enters the room and groove takes off in bass figure
|Digital Lava||Roger Sundström||Colliding video pixels, RF and excellent ‘noise’.
|Concrete Nylon Duo||Greg Hooper & Roger Sundström (mixer/masher)||Visions of Vader and Luke light saber dueling. Excellent manipulation Roger.
Thanks for checking out the recent ImprovFriday event thread, this blog and the ImprovFriday site. We welcome comments and stay tuned for the next ImprovFriday thread.
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