Improvisers

This format is directed at performers who want to attain a broader view of rhythmical and structural fields. The rhythmical concepts of polyrhythm, polypulse and irregular groupings used in South India provide a very flexible method with which the student can experiment without trying to copy Karnatic music. All the topics are re-structured to enable the student to work only with the concepts and techniques.

Improvisers tend to be performers and creators simultaneously. Therefore, the emphasis of the programme lies on a combination of rhythmical techniques to improve their accuracy, along with creative concepts that can be used to compose pieces or improvise solos.

The programme will comprise at least three modules each year. Depending on the depth and the degree of ‘transversality’ that the musician would like to acquire, there are four options. The three modules will be

1) A weekly individual meeting of 30 minutes in order to coach
* the creation and performance of three pieces with a trio or quartet as line-up (7-8 min)***, between September and March. These pieces should be performed in separate concerts
* the performance of ca. 30 minutes in the annual final concert of the programme

*** Alternatively, the students can present their own idea or project, provided that the amount of work will at least equal the amount of work foreseen for the three trios or quartets.

2) Attending weekly sessions of 90 minutes of the so-called ‘deepening sessions

3) Choosing one of the four following options:

Option 1

Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called Improvisation Ensemble. (Read more on Contemporary music through non-western techniques)

The material of the Improvisation ensemble clearly addresses the many techniques and concepts for improvising with this material.

Option 2

* Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called Improvisation Ensemble.
* Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called Reading Ensemble.

The participation in the Reading Ensemble has three goals:
a) To help the students to reinforce the main ‘building blocks’ of the Karnatic rhythmical system.
b) To work on techniques seen in the Improvisation ensemble from a completely different angle.
c) Increase the reading skills of the musicians and help them to understand many different notational aspects. For more information, please read the Classically-trained performer description.

Option 3

* Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called, Improvisation Ensemble.
* Participation in existing groups of the Composition lessons

The composition lessons will provide a wider corpus of theoretical knowledge and deeper creative information than what the student will receive in the Improvisation Ensemble lessons. For more information, please read the Composers description.

Option 4

* Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called Improvisation Ensemble.
* Participation in existing ‘Contemporary music through non-western techniques’ groups of the so-called Reading Ensemble.
* Participation in existing groups of the composition lessons

Please note: The options become increasingly flexible from 1 to 4. Therefore, for example, the student’s project is the most personal in option 4.

Specific admission requirements for improvisers

Performance of three pieces. These can be original compositions, long solos (on original pieces or someone else’s) featuring the technical and creative skills of the candidate, or a combination of both. The pieces and solos should already feature some level of rhythmical intricacy.

Specific first year completion requirements

1) Preparation of three semi-improvised duos, trios or quartet (minimum 7 minutes each) based on the material given, with a written analysis of how the Karnatic techniques were applied to these pieces and solos. The student should create at least 2/3 of the material and perform it in a separate concert. The students are to apply their own aesthetics, style and background in combination with the techniques and concepts learnt.

2) Performance of ca. 30 minutes, in the annual final concert of the programme with pieces written or organised by the student (therefore, the student should be the one who provides all the elements for a piece in which improvisation still plays an important role). However, 1/3 of this performance should be of fully through-composed pieces created by other artists or composers.

3) Transcription and analysis of two pieces or solos of Karnatic music.

At the end of the first year, the student is expected to have learnt the following topics:
* concept of cycle through the Suladi tala system, and creation with talas of 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 beats
* blocks of polyrhtyhms with gati/jathi combinations
* reate Graphic Densities Chart for semi-improvised pieces
* phrasing with accuracy and feeling on all four gatis
* gati bhedam as phrasing technique in itself and for polypulses as well
* two-layered sections of gati bhedam against the phrasing along the pulse
* creations of jathi bhedam sequences (of one or two cycles) and different ways to improvise on them
* sama mukthays (of one or two cycles) and its possible developments
* short mukthays

If the Composition module has also been followed, these additional concepts should have been learnt:
* developing of phrases in all gatis through rests and tie-overs
* tree of gati bhedam
* rhythmical sangatis in any of its forms and applications
* developmental techniques like cell fragmentation, cell development, material recycling, non-retrogradable rhythms, five types of viloma and palindrome
* development of jathi bhedam sequences
* anuloma-pratiloma as a concept as well as all its developmental techniques
* six types of yati phrases

If the Reading Ensembles have been chosen, the student is expected to have learnt the additional topics:
* jathi bhedam as a source to control sequences of meter changes as well as phrases that don’t go with the beat, in addition to analysing the use of this technique on pieces that use these two concepts (i.e, The Rite of Spring, Ligeti’s Piano concerto, Quartet for the end of times)
* anuloma-pratiloma and its applications on pieces like Petrushka, or in various pieces by Elliot Carter.

Specific graduation requirements

1) Preparation of three semi-improvised duos, trios or quartet as per first year completion.

2) Final recital of ca. 60 minutes, with participation in different settings. The content of this final recital will depend on whether the student has chosen to follow the Reading ensemble and/or the composition lessons. The student can use a maximum of 30 minutes of music performed during the first or second year as part of the recital.

3) Transcription and analysis of two pieces or solos of Karnatic music.

At the end of the second year, the student is expected to have learnt the following topics:
* nadai bhedam sequence and as the ‘real’ polypulse technique (with superimpositions)
* two types of yati phrases
* three types of threefold mukthays
* three types of yati mukthays

If the Composition module has also been followed, these additional concepts should have been learnt:
* gatis 9, 11 and 13
* tirmanas/tirmana-mukthays
* compound mukthays
* palindromic mukthays
* sub-mukthays
* tirmana-compound mukthays
* double & triple mukthays
* mukthay combinations
* yatis prastara
* poruttam A
* entanglement and overlapping of different concepts into new ones without names.
* mixed jathi nadai bhedam

If the Reading Ensembles have been chosen, the student is expected to have learnt the additional topics:
* nadai bhedam as a technique to face more complex irregular groupings and its applications on a variety of pieces (Frank Zappa’s Black Page being a very important one)
* gatis 9, 11 and 13
* metrical modulations
* mixed jathi nadai bhedam

Delen