[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: Improvising vs. composing

I've found that doing mostly recorded work rather than live performance has
definitely pushed me toward improvisation though in a form that starts to
tend toward composition. Generally, when recording I will take an idea and
work it multiple times before recording it. Each pass is a bit different 
each is improvised, but with each pass I also learn more about where I can
go, where I want to go, and how to get there. Once it's committed to a
recorded form, however, I rarely worry about remembering how specifically 
play it.

The effect of this for my occasional live work is that I may have some 
ideas milling around in my head and some elements to fall back on, but
essentially everything is improvised and hence is a first take pass at the
idea of the moment. Sometimes, this works out quite well. Sometimes, the
muse is less cooperative. My personal reviews of my live work over the last
two years:

Loopstock 2002: I personally remember being nervous as hell not having
played in public since 1987. Jon Wagner's recording of the last five 
of my performance, however, (see http://www.baymoon.com/~mark_hamburg and
click on the Loopstock 2002 link) still strikes me as turning out really

Santa Cruz Y2K2: I just got the recordings a couple months ago from Peter
Coates. The three pieces had a fair amount of similarity across them, but I
think they all turned out really well.

Loopstock 2003: I know I was in a dark, noisy, ambient mode at the time, 
I haven't heard the recordings to know how it turned out.

Santa Cruz Y2K3: It had not been a good week for me and the muse was being
less co-operative. My first piece went way too long as I tried to make it
work. The other three pieces were better but not up to the standards of
Y2K2. (If you invite me back this year, Rick, I promise to try to do