Hi - this is the central hub for the Music Improvisation courselet at Underacademy College. We'll discuss the theory and practice of improvisation, recording and editing tools, instrumental and non-instrumental styles. I'd recommend downloading Audacity, if you don't have a music editor at the moment. Files should be in .mp3 format. We can put our files on Soundcloud or other shared sites. We can improvise live, at least two at a time, using Skype. My own work is at http://espdisk.com/alansondheim/ or http://lounge.espdisk.com/ . We might want to take a look at http://www.acousticlevitation.org/doesfree.html (suggested by Chris Funkhouser) - Does Free Improvisation Have A Future? There's a school for free improvisation that's also of interest at http://www.schoolforimprov.org/ - you might want to check this out. There are thousands (?) of images of instruments at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikkojazz/favorites/ (I think this site has changed since I was here last, but there are a lot of things of interest still.) For Audacity, you might want to look at this FAQ - http://manual.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=FAQ:Installation_and_Plug-Ins . Finally, there's this tool which might or might not be useful (I downloaded it but haven't used it yet) -http://www.giadamusic.com/ which is a looper that can be used live.
Introducing myself - I've worked in improvisation for a long time; my first recordings were for a defunct label, Riverboat Records, and ESP-Disk; the latter almost closed at times, hasn't. ESP-Disk recorded such greats as Albert Ayler and Guiseppe Logan (who is recording again, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppi_Logan ). At this point, I've recorded with Qbico, Fire Museum, and other labels. I play mainly plucked and bowed string instruments, such as guitar, oud, pipa, saz, cura cumbus, viola, violin, suroz, ghichak, and sarangi (the last not very well), as well as flute (open-holed keys), chromatic harmonica, and keyboards (we have an 1878 pump organ here). My music is influenced by free jazz, classical musics from India, China, and Japan, and other widely-varying sources. I don't play world music, however, and have problems with its general characteristics, but that's a whole discussion which we might or might not want to have. At the moment I'm playing mainly by myself, with my partner Azure Carter (voice, songs, tamburi), and various saxophonists.
What we should do - we'll have a mailing list to discuss the class structure, if needs be, and we'll use this space for discussing improvisation and putting up URLs for music. We might find ways to download a piece, add to it, and upload the augmented piece. We'll have to explore as we go along. The blog is closed to members only for posts and comments, and the members are members of the Underacademy course; we might want to open comments up, but at the moment I'd like to keep it small.
That's about it for now! We'll begin March 28 - Alan (who can be reached at sondheim ut panix.com or by phone - write me for the number). Thanks and Welcome!