eBow'd dulcimer, Perc ++ and Paul Is Back! – a World of ImprovFriday

Wow what a thread this past weekend (February 3 – 5, 2011) on the ImprovFriday music event! It’s called a ‘thread’ both in the traditional Internet forum sense whereby it’s continued discussions all connected and on the same bridge of thought/interest, and in the case of our community it’s tying a series of musical pieces all created in the 2 plus days together.

Tools of IF member, Richard Sanderson

Tools of IF member, Richard Sanderson

This blog was created initially to be a mini-review/commentary posting on the compositions made each weekend thread event but due to the incredible volume of material created (always a tremendous positive to the success of this community), it’s become difficult for me to cover everything and get it posted. Early on ImprovFriday member Paul Muller and I were doing the blog in tandem. Due to Paul’s commitments it drifted to me but I’m pleased to welcome Paul back for this edition with several comments drawn from the recent thread. Additionally I have posted a few this time and between us I’m pleased to say we’ve reviewed at least one work by each participating artist this time. As always links (blue font of each song title) to the MP3 audio file are provided for each work so you may listen or download.

Lee Noyes in Performance at Radio Cegeste - DPAG

A note from Paul in fact about how he selected pieces to review this weekend.

‘I’ve been wanting to get back to making some comments on the weekly pieces but we are producing so much good material it is difficult to do it comprehensively :=) So I’m trying random selections this week.

That’s right – I used a random number generator to create a table of random numbers 1 to 50. I then listened to the Saturday 2-5-11 front page IF list in that order (skipping duplications) for about an hour.’ [editor’s note: The selections reviewed by Paul are tagged as are mine.]

Hand Organ or Dulicmer and Violin

Hand Organ or Dulicmer and Violin

Chris Vaisvil

Bowed Hammer Duclimer With Slide and Some Vocal

ebowed, bowed, and hammmered hammer dulcimer

Various Hammer Dulcimer => titled “The Furnace Turns On – Sorry”

finger picked and slide used on hammer dulcimer – Love the lap dulcimer from my Mountain View days. Chris nice exploring in all these particularly this one that borders eastern world at times both the ‘Far’ and India with sounds of the sympathetic strings of the sitar and at times well taking me back to the square in Mountain View. – Jim.

(viola bow) Bowed Hammer Dulcimer

pathetic flute work

in harmonica’s way

Kid’s Garage Band in 17 Equal

Beauty of Embers

Disfunctional – Nice deep piano intro, now some rock guitar – percussion. A smoothly flowing piece – the piano line gets your attention and keeps things moving forward. Could be background for film or TV. Cool ending. – Paul.

Steve Layton

Weather in the Interior (feat. Lee Noyes, Adam Kondor, Ken Palmer, Timo Tuhkanen, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Paul Muller, Steve Moshier)

It passed right through me (feat. Kavin Allenson, Gérald DeGroote, Chris Vaisvil, Jeff Fairbanks) – Love this title and mood Steve. Excellent mash that’s right in the vogue of Twilight Zone, It Came from Outer Space and Stephen King! Great crew in this one with Kavin and Chris’s organic and Gerald and Jeff’s playful colours. – Jim.

The indigo passage (feat. Roger Sundström x 2, Benjamin Smith, Timo Tuhkanen, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Shane Cadman)

The indigo passage (feat. Roger Sundström x 2, Benjamin Smith, Timo Tuhkanen, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Shane Cadman)

Dissonance Royal Traveler (feat. Andy McCance, Jérôme Poirier, Barbara Guest)

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sunn (feat. Steve Moyes, Kavin Allenson, Johnny & Faith, Shane Cadman) – Drifting through a chasm of light in psychedelic display. – Jim.

The Dalek Strut (feat. Timo Tuhkanen, Benjamin Smith, Norbert Oldani)

Roger “ErocNet” Sundström

Brattling – Iceberg breaking and continental drift amidst. Sounds of steam and things breaking away. Feels a bit of a sleeping giant. – Jim.


Winter Ghost

Portrait of Lean North Ghost (feat. Jérôme Poirier, Steve Moyes, Richard Sanderson)

Subsistence (feat. Jeff Fairbanks, Johnny & Faith, Jérôme Poirier)

Kavin Allenson

What Do You See?

prehensile amoeba thumbtack – Well I gotta comment on this one just for the title Kavin. Heavy reverberant metallic electric here that sounds really cool, vintage and foreign at the same time. Cool scale throughout in the lines. – Jim.

Desobering Mexico (feat. Jim Goodin, Lee Noyes, Jerome Poirier, Richard Sanderson) – Well I have to comment on this one to at the least say thank you for responding to my work that was done now 4 years ago, I’m flattered. This was one of my first experiences with both fretless guitar and looping. Without sounding to ‘self-involved’ I like the organic contrasts brought to the mash with the spacial of Lee, Jerome and Richard. Really flattered you used ‘Mexico’ as a foundation. – Jim.

The Dalek Strut (feat. Timo Tuhkanen, Benjamin Smith, Norbert Oldani)

Benjamin Smith


Ben.improv.Jan.30.2011 – Sounds FM in tone Ben and like a captured giant creature weaving it’s neck in chaotic norm. A great groove in your lines nonetheless and your usual intensity that sings! – Jim.


Richard Sanderson

Solaced (Feat. Tuhkanen/Kervinen, Jeff Duke, Lee Noyes)

Holes In The Map – Tremendous subtleness in your work Richard and yet well connected tonality from space to space. Cool doploristic effect early on in the piece. I can see how your work, Lee and Jerome’s balances so well, I think of all three of you in this piece. – Jim.

Holes in the Nothing


AMR #1 (Lenin) – We are in a subterranean tunnel of some kind – a dull banging and movement in the background. A sort of motion is suggested by low tones and hums with a high pitch barely audible sneaking in and out – all of this produces a definite sense of tension. All of the sounds here are very delicate – never overpowering – yet subltly effective in building the mood. – Paul.

AMR #2 (Karl)

AMR #3 (Rosa)

Adam Kondor

Thurman&Vajda – Adam yey! You have returned to the fold. We have missed you and welcome home. You come up with the greatest commentary man, spoken word here and even what I can’t understand just flows. Nice ending with the bell as well. Don’t leave us. – Jim.

Double Duo – for Mel Powell

Rituel (feat. Ben Smith, Jeff Duke)


Doux Méandres – Paul Horn and memories of something I did a bunch of years ago when I first discovered ‘tape echo’ and with ‘tape’. Lovely echoing Gerald. Does remind me of those Paul Horn recordings in the Taj Mahal. – Jim.

North Bis   (feat. Richard Sanderson, Gérald DeGroote) – North Bis (feat. Richard Sanderson, Gerald DeGroote) – Low bass provides a solid foundation for a series of high, flashing sounds that weave in and out. Good use of edgy squeals and pitches here that contrast nicely with the bass line. Good to have Gerald back at IF! – Paul.

Pointblank II(featuring Steve Moshier & Gérald DeGroote)

Norbert Oldani

Dream On

Chorus for Women – Madrigal and nice and arranging Norbert. Though synth patch I assume almost real in the feel. – Jim.

Perc ++ – Highly stacatto percussion sounds with different pitches and speeds. Game-like at times. Interesting sounds but a bit short 🙂 – Paul.

Bruce Hamilton LIVE at Mini-Fest

Bruce Hamilton LIVE at Mini-Fest

Bruce Hamilton

hamp (feat. Paul Muller, Kenneth Palmer, Bruce Hamilton)

wobes (calling you) – Really fat patches Bruce that’s making me think of Keith Emerson and Pictures… at times in this. Like the concluding moments. – Jim.

Jukka-Pekka Kervinen


Subsistence (feat. Jeff Fairbanks, Johnny & Faith, Jérôme Poirier) – Wonderful mash Jukka! Like the angelic voicing going on with the emerging noise filtering mid-way and then the evolving to more mystical place, breaths against the almost carosel Cirque du Solei feel at end. – Jim.

Paul H. Muller

Long Key String – Just something very positive and whole in your pieces Paul. There’s some of the early Windham Hill days of Tim Story who I always thought was a very understated artist in Will’s early catalog and then there is more range of color than that. Your church and classical music love shine through and that’s true here. – Jim.

Ben & Ken (feat. Benjamin Smith, Ken Palmer)

Andrew McCance

IF – Staccato in the Pub

IF – Impatient – Andy beautiful piece and lovely touch. Sounds like you are of all the patience in the world really at least in the opening moments then it becomes a bit more edgee but that’s contrast and dig it! – Jim.

Ken Ficara

Moi – I’m now thinking what a cool mash it would have been between Gerald’s Paul Hornish piece previously noted and your piece here Ken, a thought for this next week. Tones really hang here. Wonder what all you have going on with your instruments? Delta feel in the later part, digging it! – Jim.

Enough About Moi – Good use of harmonica here (I wish we heard more harmonica). Produces an intriguing ambience. The texture builds interestingly with a series of overlapping trills. Like the recorder, the harmonica seems to be one of those over-looked instruments that can produce serious music in the right hands… – Paul.

Jeff Duke

Naive Prepared Piano – John C would have dug it Jeff. Got a feeling this is all software driven as you’ve been digging some new tools. Good space in here that could make Mr Noyes proud and speaking of… – Jim.

Lee Noyes & Radio Cegeste - DPAG

Lee Noyes & Radio Cegeste - DPAG

Lee Noyes

ProsocheAttention / mindfulness according to the Web and I would say very true here as the water flows from trickle to flowing to space to wading about. I remember a drainage ditch near my house where I grew up and I would go play there. In those days it wasn’t so polluted and it was really a concrete type of reservoir sort of a mini waterway canal like they have in LA. Anyhow reminds me of that as well as going down in to the storm cellar that we had but I digress. Distant musicality appearance of the wind instrument is welcome dimension, man Lee we need cameras here to see you at work. – Jim.

Jérôme Poirier

Portrait of Plastic and Wooden Pearls – Though seemingly acoustic sounds here I can also hear it as ‘noise filtering’ in to percussive patches. Nicely woven together as you ‘paint’ Jerome. Wooden Pearls wooden nickel, wonder… – Jim.

Shane W. Cadman

Piece020411 – Glasslike and angular, guitarlike in nature and maybe it is but thinking keyboard and patches. Regardless remniscent of earthy rock guitar and world colors at the same time. – Jim.

Andrew McCance & Mel Powell (mix. Adam Kondor)

Beginning of a Sonata

Richard Sanderson


Paul Hertz

The Climb Above Freezing – Nice evolution in this one Paul. Starts out your ethereal present halls of the church sound but compositionally and tonally moves through modern playful at times sounds. Nice airy ending high note. – Jim.

Steve Moyes

Lean – Low droning reminds one of a large animal or big machine – lovely pitches mixing down there! Now a series of high and mid-range pitches enter providing a bit of light. The sounds becomes richer at 3:30 – nice music here. More desolate now at 4:30… Interesting flute sounds at 5:40 – a kind of high chattering at 6:30. The low drones seem to shadow each change in the texture creating an ominous foundation throughout. Well crafted! – Paul.

Steve Moshier and Liguid Skin LIVE

Steve Moshier and Liguid Skin LIVE

Steve Moshier
55 Days in Peking – More full-on Moshier. Fills the senses with moving sounds and chords – Moshier always paints a vivid picture. I tried to mix something using this but this Steve’s work is generally so complete and self-contained I have yet to succeed. – Paul.

Kenneth Palmer

Egyptian Two Step – As JC has pointed out, something of a milestone work for our friend from St. Louis. Incorporating the sounds and events in Egypt this past week this piece reproduces the uneasiness we are all feeling as we watch the news. Along with Adam and others, the political dimension here lately makes for facinating listening. – Paul.

Jeff Fairbanks

zo vo – Great vocal treatment here set against a conventional background. Very cool sounds! Too short – more would have been better 🙂 – Paul.
Johnny & Faith

Strange Eon Drive One – Well crafted angelic opening that rises up like a spring from the ground, then drifts on to subtle demonic voices surfacing in the score and they drift out as the piece moves akin to a space probe in search of discovery. – Jim.

Jim Goodin

Bird by Bird Fly (Again


Timo Tuhkanen

still born – Wonderful rising tone mixed with beeps and burbles. We are on some sort of cosmic elevator, the floors are flying by… Now we are in orbit trying to call home with a dial-up modem. The pitch is descending now, we are coming back – a sort of lonely feeling here. The sudden ending makes the point… – Paul.

[editor’s note – further words from Paul captured from a blog posted on ImprovFriday.]

In Addition –

Thanks to Bruce Hamilton and Steve Layton for using my Long Key String in their mashups.

Good to have Adam back from the political barricades in Budapest. Nice to have Gerald back as well.

Hope JC is feeling better after his encounter with the bubble ball.

And a Few Favorites –

Everything I heard this week is of very high quality. And here are some that I thought were especially good. Keep in mind I am not listening to everything – and I have certain tastes – but these seemed to speak to me this week.

Jim Goodin – Bird by Bird Fly (Again) – A beautiful work – makes perfect use of the materials. Captures mid-winter exactly. A really fine piece!

Norbert Oldani – <a href="“>Dream On – Another in a series incorporating the spoken word (thanks Adam!). I thought the background here was perfectly chosen and the text poetic and meaningful.

Ben Smith – Improv Jan 31 2011.2 – Another great piano solo in that spare, almost European style we hear from Ben every so often. Cried out for a mix – so I did one 🙂 – Paul

ImprovFriday Radio

ImprovFriday Radio

So that’s it for this weekend. A few reminders, check out the ImprovFriday Radio podcast series at the noted hyperlink in blue, come visit us at our ImprovFriday homepage at ImprovFriday.Ning.com and information about the ImprovFriday Vol I and II CD releases is available at Amaranth Records. Additionally there is some interesting work being posted in between weekend events on the ImprovFriday Afterhours page on Facebook. Search us to check out.


Jim and Paul

ImprovFriday Radio - Jim Goodin & Paul Muller

ImprovFriday Radio - Jim Goodin & Paul Muller


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