What is ImprovFriday you may ask if you just happened to find this blog in crawl? Well, it’s a gathering on the Internet where 35-40 like-minded artists gather each weekend and produce musical pieces under Creative Commons for what is called the ImprovFriday open-call thread event. Those pieces are either in their entirety or as remix/mashed posted for public hearing on the ImprovFriday website the week following the weekend event.
The music is experimental, sometimes free in feel and form, sometimes ‘song oriented’ and ‘structured,’ but always innovatively creative and what for the current times is coming to be known as ‘New Music’.
WhatsNewAtImProFriday is hosted by Paul Muller and myself [Jim Goodin], both a part of the ImprovFriday community. We generally, when time allows, do reviews of all the tremendous works submitted in tandem. However, for this edition I tip my hat to Paul and post the works he was able to review. My time was more pulled for other projects so for this one I have focused on the production and some of the included imagery, something new I’m including in the posts. With this week’s blog the photos are from ImprovFriday members Michael Mjollnir, J.C. Combs, Paul Muller, Dave Seidel, Kavin Allenson, Adam Kondor and myself.
As has been our tradition following the reviews you will find links to Paul’s and my pieces that we submitted to the event. So read on for Mr. Paul Muller’s reviews…
Alex Carpenter – first-time IF contributor
Fainting Spell (After Ingvar Loco Nordin) – Beautiful playing and the delay adds nicely to the light, airy texture. (Gotta say I was going for something similar with my music box piece.) I’m a big fan of this sort of music – Richard Lainhart, James Ross – good to have another artist at IF working the same side of this street. – Paul.
Real Imitation (in C minor) – Good process development here builds on the simple materials. Mozart meets Reich. Well-conceived. – Paul.
T – Some Jukka-Pekka Kervinen influence here and also Lee Noyes. A series of free, pure tones connected by electronica, sputtering and scratches. A strong beat now at 2:30 brings some order to the proceedings. The tones form into a series of chords and the electronica acts almost as a bass line. Slow fade out – nice. – Paul.
Allis – The tractor starts, sputters, stops… and finally catches. A great rumbling sound from the engine and it drives off. Interesting snippet of rural Sweden – not so different from here. – Paul.
Alexandra Marculewicz Adshead
Trip Back – More sophisticated vocalizing from Alexandra – followed by some great arcing notes – all accompanied by what sounds to be water flowing and some mechanical sounds. Good to hear Alexandra again. – Paul.
Portrait of the 23rd fair ‘Les Cinglés du Cinéma’ – Electronic rumbling and voices – we’re discussing movies? Sounds as if we are in the projection booth of the cinema. – Paul.
Distant Sun – Ambient space music – very warm and musical and, well, sunny. Really enjoyed this. Well-crafted. – Paul.
IF25 – Strong percussive beat – now a voice. Now the beat is very strong – like a series of explosions. A powerful question asked in a powerful way. – Paul.
Ben.Improv.Sep.22.2010 – Ben playing an organ here – change of pace. Rapid playing gives the feeling that life is just slightly out of control. Ending with the descending notes adds to the mood – and then the sudden stop. – Paul.
Outer Gas Giants – The tones here are a bit more spare than we are accustomed to from James. Like we are in a sunken church. The effect is one of emptiness as in deep space. Also a sense of remoteness and loneliness. – Paul.
Out of Spright – Spritely notes fly from the keyboard – nicely syncopated. Fine sequence of layers at 1:20. Lots of different stops in use – nifty ending. – Paul.
Piece092410 – Some great processing here – the xaphoon voice becomes almost whale-like with low, sorrowful moans. Solemn and somber feel to this. – Paul.
Life In America – Interesting commentary – and a mash is something we rarely hear from Ken. Loud, confused voices backed by rock and roll. The volume climbs as the piece progresses and at one point we lose all intelligibility. Life in America is overwhelming. – Paul.
Serious – Yikes! Loud, almost painful sounds stab at the ear. A rhythm develops – and a sort of pattern to the pitches. After a bit of listening a melody can be made out. A triumph of seriously angry sounds. – Paul.
– Piano Improvisation – Wonderful solo piano piece – by turns haunting, mysterious then sad and melancholy. – Paul.
Transparent Ballad – Nice combination of piano and guitar. Deep and dark sounding – as if we are outside at night. – Paul.
Chunka – Featuring Kavin Allenson, Norbert Oldani, Roger Sundström and Bruce Hamilton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Quiet opening leads directly to processed sounds and voices. By 1:20 a sort of harmony is established by the buzzing sounds and they are joined by Norbert’s haunting piano melody again. The finish brings all the pieces together. Nicely done! – Paul.
I Forgot The Name – “Hello ImprovFriday!” Some strong playing here – good beat and familiar-sounding chords. – Paul.
Statesboro – Featuring Hentai Improvising Orchestra, Peter Thörn, David Bromberg and Kavin Allenson (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – A buzzing, rushing sound like a million bees underneath some country vocals. Guitar sounds. Effectively surreal. – Paul.
Polyrhythmic-Polymodal – Featuring Paul Bailey, Paul Muller, Norbert Oldani, Benjamin Smith and Adam Kondor (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – A fine combination of keyboard, organ and music box to start – with a definite groove, in fact it almost swings. Good selection of pieces. – Paul.
Norbert Oldani & Roger “ErocNet” Sundström
Romantic Polishing – Norbert’s fine piano solo opens against a distant background drone heightening the sense of melancholy. Good piece. – Paul.
Canvas #1 – A lovely, sustained metallic ringing accompanied by some deep lower tones. Like looking at a deep chasm at night. – Paul.
Roger “ErocNet” Sundström
Glass Forgeries – Featuring Shane Cadman, Diek and Roger “ErocNet” Sundström (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Interesting mix of Shane’s busy processed sound and Diek’s warm, open tones. The xaphoon adds a distinctly mournful touch – (I had the same idea with Norbert’s piece.) Another excellent choice of pieces to mash. – Paul.
Abrasion – Rough sounding series of sputtering tones – like a balky lawnmower. Builds in intensity. Nothing smooth about it! – Paul.
The musical works of Paul and myself from the weekend event…
The Xaphoon Cries – Featuring Shane Cadman & Norbert Oldani and Paul Muller (contributing artist/mixer/masher)
Distant Sunz – Featuring Diek x2 and Paul Muller (contributing artist/mixer/masher)
That’s it for this week’s WhatsNewAtImProvFriday a look at some of the musical work done by the ImprovFriday member artists for September 23 – 25. Our apologies to those artists we could not get to as well as those who we had to limit to select track reviews. As the thread grows it has become more challenging to our schedules to cover all but we try to give as much attention as possible.
Be sure and catch the ImprovFriday Radio podcast series located on your URL dial at http://improvfridayradio.podomatic.com as well as searchable in iTunes. The current episode hosted by Paul looks at the mix and mash work of J.C. Combs, Bruce Hamilton and Adam Kondor from the ImprovFriday community. To learn more about ImprovFriday visit us on the Ning network at http://improvfriday.ning.com. Thanks for reading, listening and following our blog and until next time, keep your ears, minds and hearts open to all the wonderful music out there in our big worldwide web!
Jim and Paul