A 'Look' about ImprovFriday

Photo by William Shannonhouse

Photography: William Shannonhouse

I’ve been remiss for several weeks, months in writing about the weekly goings on at ImprovFriday, a New Music community on the Ning social network that is going on it’s three or four something year in steady active recorded musical artistry being produced each and every weekend without fail. ImprovFriday which can be accessed at http://improvfriday.com started as a hash tag on Twitter with initial energy of James Combs (aka J.C. and not the one in LA or Ohio 🙂 ) encouraging friends/fellow artists to produce a track of spontaneous music done on Friday. The idea evolved to a gathering of artists and then and I’m minimizing here, found a formal home on Ning which I joined about two years ago now through a friend/fellow artist from the Loopers-Delight community, Jeff Duke, maker of ‘other music’.

Each weekend as mentioned beginning just before the weekend, Thursday afternoon at 4pm PST and going through Saturday evening at 6pm PST, the ImprovFriday community holds a formal event ‘thread’ encouraging all interested to post new musical works ideally created within current time of the event under Creative Commons distribution, to the ImprovFriday site for world listening. The regularity of twenty-five to thirty artists from the community has gotten so tight and cohesive that the work produced though produced isolated, when heard together and many tracks get ‘mashed’ together, sound amazingly connected. In the last few months the work which has never been purposely curated or will be curated has evolved to occasionally be guided by a suggested ‘theme’ such as recent ones, politics, islands, fragile, voice and others. Then after a few weeks of ‘themed’ we will have our historical ‘free for all’ meaning anything goes which even on themed the option for anything goes is still there.

I referenced the term ‘mash’ earlier. Mash for the uninformed means in terms of music, sound, to take several audio works and layer them together in an audio mix and in turn they become a new compositional piece. Staff member Steve Layton often produces several amazing mash pieces in a given thread. One done this weekend that I really found moving was City of Glass Spires which featured works layered together of Chris Vaisvil, Kavin Allenson, Shane Cadman and Steve Moshier. This piece to my ears blended a sense of aural fantasies on Neptune’s waters with the Wizard of Oz glass slippers and it echoed the feeling of the whole weekend event.

Though the bulk of the work produced each weekend is aural occasionally a video piece is put together as in the case of one done this weekend by Kavin Allenson and photographer William Shannonhouse, celebrating the magical planet aligning recent date of November 11, 2011 or numerally spelled ‘111111’.

Benjamin Smith’s initial traditional acoustic piano piece indicative of the thought and development that often goes in to each artist’s work on ImprovFriday, starting with an idea and evolving often growing an entire journey of exploring.

And now an invitation to check out all the work produced this weekend (November 10 – 12, 2011) on ImprovFriday. Follow this link http://improvfriday.com for one contiguous musical stream and join us regularly beginning each pre-weekend Thursday at 4pm PST.

Jim Goodin


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