Improvisation (week 3/4)

Posted: October 31, 2014 in Global Perspectives.



This week were looking at improvisation techniques, minimalism and game systems for collaborative play. Steve Reich’s compositional works of the 60’s onwards explored extended technique and phasing through looping or repeating short melodies.

His piece called ‘Music for 18 musicians’ is a particular favourite of mine. A piece written for 18 musicians but with no conductor relies on the collaborative team work and communication whilst playing. The use of repetitive riffs relates to my love for rock and european hardcore techno music. A very catchy repetitive riff that changes only by one or two notes upon revolution to create a ‘phasing’ effect of hypnotic nature.

Upon cue or at the end of an 8bar section we would change the riff we played by one or two notes and collectively this made a track change in dynamics. I don’t have a recording of the efforts we made in practice but you can see other CSM students using the same methods here.

Here is a piece of work i have created inspired by Steve Riech’s ‘‘Music for 18 musicians” in the effort to try and create a phasing effect. Instead of changing the riff each time around i simply just subtracted a a very small amount of the riff before duplicating the edited riff.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 13.55.45




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