History of "Musica Livre"
in 45 years of experience I can only confirm: whenever we plan, talk, exchange signs, setup structures... we interfere with the most profound and honest improvisation: listen to "all" and let "it" play!
in the 70ies when we played complex compositions in ProgRock bands (iSiS, Lizard) which grew out of improvisations. I insisted in variations and impro parts on stage as well.
1980-84 our simple rock band Ggroggy brought riffs together on stage and it sounded fresh and trippy and for many like compositions.
then, in 1984, improvisation turned into a mission, a life experiment: a professional violin player said: "if you dont study songs and styles, your improvisations cannot grow" and I answered: "let's see!" and since then I never interpreted or repeated music, yet it keeps growing and changing anyway...
Its a phantastic experience!
Livelooping helped a lot and I had modified digital delays for livelooping since 1985 but this is all described on other spots.
here its about freely evolving harmonic music. sometimes less evolving or ugly, but what stays are the experiences of the magic moments when it really works and all grows together to one composition which none of us could think of.
2004, Bernhard Wagner visited Bahia and we formed improvisation circles with amateurs and people who never plaid music before. The only rules were: "play in a way you can hear the others" and "dont play songs".
We discovered that it helps to pick up ideas from the others players, mainly the shy and unexperienced, and repeat or interprete them, and once the player realizes he is heard and his part changes the whole, he becomes confident to carry on...
In those groups I finally opened for my voice, which, apart from some vocals in the band Lizard only sounded when I was alone in the car. In the wild contexts of the improv groups, I experimented all kinds of sounds and found a lot about me and many say that the voice sounds beautiful - because its just honest me, I guess...
2004-2010 I played regularely at contact dance jams in Salvador. Its marvelous to see he effect of music and feel the spirit of improvisation flow naturally between several forms of art! traditional contact dance works without music. but we developed our own very dynamic style. the music has to change quickly with the movements that are not repetitive. in the end, visits of outside condemned our method before experiencing it. we do not even have recordings...
since 2014 I play weekly in free harmonic bands and finally start to understand how we really do it!
I am unable to explain how improvising works, but anyone can do it with anything. Its possible to do things before thinking about them - or maybe think so quickly that we dont become aware of it, and thus bring out things we may perceive as aleatoric first, but then as deeper than anything we can think into...
So improvising music also teaches to improvise life, enjoy things that aparently dont make sense - and may make more sense than the things that have a reason.
In 2001, a fundamental experience with an accident confirmed this even more: you can not know what is right anyway. just select one way and you will never know how the other would have been...
improvisar music also teaches to improvise in Life, enjoy things that do not make sense and may be more important than things our limited minds can understand. in 2001, a fundamental experience in a acident confirmed this to me: we cannot know what is right. we chose a way and usually never know whether the other whould have been better (well, at that acident, it would have been deadly! - not necessarily worse...)
most improvisation strategies are not free:
- groove: drumcicles, funk… single bass note steady beat... (little freedom)
- harmony sequence: traditional jazz, hymns, folk (only melodic and dynamic freedom)
- no patterns: free jazz, noise (generally harmonies are avoided = another lacks of freedom)
evolutionary harmonic music:
it can start in chaos or with ohm or a simple pattern, but all can be abandoned following a thread of similarities and the natural tendency to syncronize
why does it work?
we are all connected through a collective consciousness. once we abandon planning and memory, we can open to it and flow.
this is not proven nor garanteed but who felt it will want it again. and training it may prepare for the rough changes that may happen to humanity in the near future
how do we get there?
once the music is flowing, the only rule needed is: all present musicians and listeners LISTEN to all. choose instruments of similar loudness.
virtuosity is not needed but to know the instrument enough to find the notes and sounds we hear is helpful. learn by a lot of trying free playing (like a kid plays).
for a start, those rules may help:
- AVOID SONGS. those who do not know them become ashamed to play and the result is poor compared to serious interpretations anyway. whenever you play from memory, you turn away from the inspiration of NOW!
- the golden thread is SIMILARITY: repetition is prison, similarity is evolution. try to answer what you heard by playing your interpretation of it: a different melody with the same rhythm, the same notes with a different timing, an inversion, transposition… or the same, but not to many times ;-)
- the BASS is always valid. if there is a uncertainty which way we are going, follow the bass, its is the base. harmonies are combination of harmonics (multiple frequency) of the bass note.
- avoid playing more than 2 notes. the one player that plays many notes limits the freedom of the others. if each player plays ONE NOTE AT A TIME of the similar scale, the result is most likely a harmonic chord - and most likely a positive surprise!
- if each player follows a simple melody line, the others may predict where it is going and find their own way to get there
- stand out horrible moments! sometimes it is just not working or it works into the mud and we have to go through it! usually on the other side of the storm, the beauty is double rewarding...
Not everyone has a credit card or Paypal, so to allow everyone to use this music, you have to choose the value you give this work.
recent recordings are on SoundCloud