Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sound Exchange Orientation

Last Monday was our "orientation" for Sound Exchange in Philadelphia. The session was basically our first day of workshops with Pauline Oliveros.

It's a very interesting group of musicians with very diverse backgrounds: jazz players, experimental musicians, people coming from different areas of rock, electronic music, and all kinds of improv traditions.

The day opened with a short performance by Pauline and David Gamper, utilizing their Extended Instrument System (laptops running a Max patch into a four channel surround sound system). It was simply breathtaking, gorgeous, and amazing.

Pauline and David explained some of the evolution of the Extended Instrument System and the development of her Deep Listening practice.

We continued with several pieces / exercises such as: a five minute group listening, two one-minute "pieces" where we each made one sound during that minute, a series of short solos (as a means of introducing ourselves to the group), a series of duos and trios, followed by some discussion.

After a meal break, we dove into a full group improvisation. That was followed by a discussion including some poignant criticism of the large group piece, and then some discussion about how the rest of the program will proceed. It seems that I'll have an opportunity to "compose" a piece for the full ensemble, to be included in a concert on Sunday, April 2. I have some ideas about that already... maybe when I write up a summary / proposal to float to the gruop, I'll post some info about it here.

All in all, a fascinating and inspiring day. I'm looking forward to playing with everyone again!

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