Lost Expressions

We live in an incredible time. Classic tradition, music of different cultures, Jazz and even the experimental avant-garde are fighting for the favor of a new generation. In this chaos of ideas, it is impossible to subscribe to a single aesthetic. None of these forms is obviously superior to the others. In times of ubiquitous eclecticism, it is difficult to show and determine which form of music is most suitable, whether and to what extent music can influence the development of society. Nevertheless, a new kind of music emerges from this chaos.

For several years I have been involved with the world of so-called "free improvisation", exploring the use of electronics and new technologies in improvisation.

Several changes in the history of music have led to a decrease in improvisation in Western art. Melody, rhythm and harmony have become increasingly complex, so that the artist lost the ability to improvise.

Improvisation in music has always been the driving force of musical practice. It was always improvised - in all ethnic peoples' music as well as in many forms of vocal music. Improvisation and the different genres, styles and forms in the entire development of music always belonged together.

Improvisation in our time has again become an important element in the development and preservation of a common musical language.

Through my work as an improvising musician, I found that free improvisation is very close to the acoustic result of a written composition and is in no way inferior to it.

Contemporary Improvisation

In this context, I see contemporary improvisation as a saving bridge, an opportunity to turn back to the essentials in music, to feel like a creator and thus to see it as a direct preliminary stage to composition. However, in order to meet today's modern standards, it must demonstrate certain characteristics of contemporary composition.

For this reason, I have developed a series of master classes and workshops, in which I try together with the participants to practically pursue the following questions:

  • Which modern composition techniques work in live-impro procedure?
  • Which forms and structures of musical organization do you need to do justice to a composition?

To do this, we playfully explore the similarities and differences between composition and improvisation. In special exercises we deal with some basic forms of melody in order to put a small emphasis on the melodic design in improvisation. Then we work on some models of the sound time organization. With this we enter into some generally accepted formal structures.

Below are some links to show this work and to encourage new participants. But first a form analysis of an appearance that I made as part of my doctoral thesis:

Free Improvisation: Initio-Motus-Terminus - A form- analysis according to B. Assafiew
Peter Brötzmann (Tenor-Saxophone), Anto Pett (Piano), Vlady Bystrov (Alto-Saxophone) at the "Drei Tage für Neue Musik" festival in Braunschweig on October 19, 2017 (Video).

Personal expressions

Today a modern artist uses a variety of tools in the form of hardware and software - his interest is based on the exploration and use of performative, expressive characteristics of specific instrumental practices. Finding meaningful and effective musical behaviors is the first important step in developing technology and models that can convey musical interactions.

Thus, the personal inner search becomes one of the central aspects of the artistic path developed here together with the participants.

Musically, this arc should be struck by a sound spectrum that is based on an initially conventional interpretation of selected pieces, e.g. from the context of the solo pieces, through inherent "fragile" compositional works to "neuer" arrangements using various style elements of new music.