Saturday, April 6, 2013


To quote Alan:

"please let me know your interest in the class, what instruments and/or electronics you play, and a bit about your experience. If you have any experience with online improvisation, please talk a bit about that, and give an idea of the platform you use." 

Perhaps class members can introduce themselves in the comments..


  1. Introducing myself: I'm a composer, sound artist and improviser, though the last one is something I've just started doing in recent years. My main instrument is the violin and of late I've been experimenting with adding a computer running SuperCollider into the mix. I'm particularly interested in teaching the computer how to "improvise" and keeping knob-twiddling and mouse-clicking to a minimum. Still learning though!

    I have some experience in live performance but none whatsoever in networked performance though it's something I'm also very much interested in.

    It would be very nice if discussions during this class could also touch on the aesthetics of improvisation, as well as its social/political aspect. These are really fascinating areas.

    Peter O'Doherty

  2. Short introduction. I am Björn Eriksson, I have been exploring improvisation in some different contexts over the years, roughly since the end of the 70s, though also being a child I often "played" and improvised alone with different objects, buth musical instruments and other things lying around. I especially rember a couple of table-lamp springs that must have been very influental of my playings. Remember pressing the ear against the lamphouse metal and experiencing massive sound sensations.

    I am both into acoustic instruments, but lately I have been exploring more and more different electronic tools, like Pure Data and AudioMulch. I have also been playing in an online virtual orchestra called Avatar Orchestra Metaverse (AOM). At some points there has been rather improvised ongoings in AOM. Also I did play in a band MäAM, which started out as an experiment, and the initial idea was that no rules where allowed and all ideas should be welcomed by each other. This band was really interesting to play with and I learnt alot during the roughly 5 years the band was playing together. Don´t know what more to say, but I am very curious and happy about this class.

    As a proffesion I am working with sounds and music production education and some courses in sound art. I am living in Sweden. (born here too). Sometimes my music can be found under the name of "miulew", which is a construct word.

    Some more or less badly updated sites:

    As with Peter I am also very interested in the social/political aspects of improvisation.

    All the best,
    Björn Eriksson

    1. I've also used AudioMulch but not for a long time. It's still running? You still connect the modules? And I haven't used Pure Data- can you say something about it? Finally do you have any recording of MaAM and how does it feel to play in AOM? Who are the other musicians? What sort of music? I assume this is in Second Life? Thanks, Alan

  3. Forgot to mention som of the instruments I play:

    I also like to play different percussion instruments.

    /Björn Eriksson

    1. just found it. Am I the only one to find it difficult to know when the new posts or comments come in? What does the tanzanian instrument sound like? Can you post sometinng? Really curious -

  4. I play several instruments, but primarily flute, bass, canjo, & some hand percussion. I have performed and jammed with Alan Sondheim on a number of occasions in the past couple of years. At the moment, as you will hear on my soundcloud ( I'm concentrating on bass, getting ready for a multimedia gig with at Sarah Lawrence College (with my wife), where I'll be generating image & text w/the bass (through MIDI)

  5. Hi - I've introduced myself already but Chris, where are the tracks? I don't see the URL here, which means I might not be using the blog completely correctly. Please put up!

    So far there are the four of us, and I think but I'm not sure, that Laurence Upton will be joining us. (He had difficulty getting on.) I haven't heard from others yet, so please, if you know of people who might be interested in joining, ask them in!

    Finally, re: the social/political aspects - there's so much here! From a lot of the writing around free jazz in the 60s/70s (Amiri Baraka for example or the work of Archie Shepp to a lot of anthologies I have here), to Alfred Schutz on Making Music Together; there's also a fair amount of recent theory, including some pieces by Jackson Moore at Eyebeam. It's an interesting area since improvisation in a sense is the inverse of work or certainly of the assembly line - without 4/4 rhythm for example, things move quickly into uncharted territory. If the music is also wordless (not voiceless), you get into cries and screams, and wails, as well as laughter, etc. - sort of the opposite of the cleanliness of a Merce Cunningham dancepiece. There's so much space here!