Textural Improvisation

The conventional approach to teaching improvisation often revolves around development. However, music doesn't solely rely on narrative elements for expression. In Eastern music traditions, for example, the focus is often not on development and growth, but on creating a musical state or "vibe" with ambient qualities. This non-narrative musical flow, commonly referred to as "texture", emphasizes constancy rather than progression, resulting in a sense of "sameness over time". In today’s improvised music genres, such non-narrative musical flow is ever more common (see musical inspiration list below).

This course centers around this type of improvisation, which we call “textural improvisation”. The lessons comprise classes that are co-taught by Harmen Fraanje and Amit Gur, lessons by Amit Gur that focus on theoretical parts and playing sessions (mainly guided by Harmen Fraanje). At the end of the course, participants will perform and record their music inspired by the course. While the course is especially suited for instrumentalists, singers seeking innovative ways of vocal expression are also welcome to join.

During the course, we will delve into various topics, including:

  • Understanding the concept of musical texture.
  • Exploring the role of texture in improvised music. 
  • Models for textural improvisation.
  • Integrating textural improvisation into conventional jazz settings.
  • Improvising textures solo vs. improvising it in groups
  • Musical accompaniment with textures

Musical inspiration list includes but is not limited to:
Shakti
Steve Lehman
Jozef Dumoulin
Jakob Bro (Scandinavian guitarist)
Keith Jarrett (Köln concert and more)
Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan 
Kaja Draksler 
Oded Tzur
Miles Davis (Bitches Brew)
Malcolm Braff 
Vijay Iyer (Hood)
Aaron Parks (Arborescence)
Arve Henriksen
Toma Gouband
Mats Eilertsen

Course Details

teachers Amit Gur, Harmen Fraanje
term January-May 2024; Tuesday mornings
method of instruction Three hours a week, group lessons
course requirements Non-jazz majors: considerable experience with improvisation is required. While the course is especially suited for instrumentalists, singers seeking innovative ways of vocal expression are also welcome to join.
assignments and assessment 2 pieces (intermediate assignments), 3rd piece to be performed in the project week or a concert/recorded (final assignment) 
credits 5
Delen