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Presenting the Game Symphony Workshop

POSTED ON May 19, 2016   |   Post A Comment
I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the Game Symphony Workshop. This creative music experience helps formally trained musicians get off the page through Soundpainting, musical adaptations of theater games, and creative chamber music.
Steve and Kaley 2

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Soundpainting: The Art of Live Composition

POSTED ON March 24, 2016   |   Post A Comment
One of the best vehicles for teaching group improvisation is Soundpainting, a sign language for live composition.

Steve Soundpainting, see video below

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The Uber Game and Sneaky Snake

POSTED ON March 04, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Viola Spolin, the creator of improvised theater games, describes a spontaneous scene as “a timeless moment when all are mutually engaged in experience. You don’t know what’s going to happen and that’s where they joy is, the everlasting spiral.”


Courtesy of Flickr/Andrew Currie

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On the Edge: Improvisation in Music

POSTED ON December 18, 2015   |   Post A Comment

Do yourself a favor and watch this stunning documentary!

On the Edge: Improvisation in Music is a 1992 4-part series produced and narrated by British guitarist Derek Bailey. The film features performances and interviews from master musicians all over the globe. You can stream the entire documentary below.

"Buddy Guy Liri Blues 1989" by Sardognunu

“Buddy Guy Liri Blues 1989” by Sardognunu, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

 

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Practice Creativity through the Power of Limits

POSTED ON November 02, 2015   |   One Comment

“I believe creativity comes from limits, not freedom.”

This is not a quote about music. It’s how Jon Stewart describes preparing for the The Daily Show with his team of writers (from an interview with NPR’s Fresh Air).

Stravinsky employed a similar process:

My freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self of the chains that shackle the spirit.

Igor Stravinsky, Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons

Courtesy of Museum of Making Music

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Expand Your Ears and Creativity with Drones

POSTED ON September 18, 2015   |   7 Comments

A drone is a sustained tone that accompanies a piece of music. Drones can be found in musical traditions all over the word. Indian classical music, Scottish bagpipes, Gregorian chant (organum), Native American flute, minimalism, and modal jazz are a few examples.

Practicing with drones is one of the most effective ways to sharpen your ears and inspire your inner music.

Tanpura

Courtesy of Martin Spaink/Wikimedia Commons

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