LECTURES AND MASTER CLASSES
The flea thinks it owns the dog,
just as many musicians believe they own the music.
I am extremely aware of just how much I owe to elder musicians who were generous enough to share their insights and know-how with me. There is no way that I can repay their generosity directly, but I firmly believe that, as a member of one of the oldest professions in the world, I can and should pass on that knowledge to younger generations. Over the last three decades, I have given workshops, master classes and lectures in English, Spanish and French in both institutional settings (conservatories, universities, cultural centers, art spaces) and musicians' collectives in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. I look forward to continuing this vital part of my craft as long as my knowledge and experience remain relevant.
Free Improvisation Workshops
How can improvisation possibly be taught in a one-size-fits-all workshop?
Every group of participants is different. Each has its own needs, interests, skills and aspirations. If there is one guiding principle for a free-improvisation workshop it is that learning to improvise involves learning to be free.
Intense, generous and non-judgemental listening, a sense of humor (especially about oneself) and willingness to explore are what underlie competent, musical and fulfilling improvisation. Playing is a vehicle for these human qualities, not an end unto itself. Play, however is very much a part of it all.
Free improvisation workshops can be as short as one day or as long as five. Some have fiinal concerts, others don't. The maximum number of participants is 15.
Each of these advanced workshops explores a specific aspect of free improvisation, such as:
· Intermedia improvisation (with dance, performance, video, etc.)
· Learning to work with silence
· Electroacoustic improvisation
· Expanded listening
It is important to understand that the word "advanced" refers to the workshops themselves, not to any particular level of previous experience on the part of the participants. By focusing on a specific subject, they allow participants to delve deeper and to focus and address questions with greater precision.
It is equally important to understand that these workshops focus on the subject matter from the standpoint of improvisation, not technical prowess. they can be as short as one day or as long as five. The maximum number of participants is 10.
Advanced Improvisation Workshops
Master classes are informal meetings with small groups of musicians interested in how I do what I do.
They often take place the morning after one of my concerts and generally last between two and three hours. When they do not follow a concert, they usually begin with a brief performance by me. Afterwards, participants are free to ask me any sort of question. This means that some master classes focus primarily on aesthetic issues while others may address more technical matters such as how and why I designed my instrument, how different parts of it work, and so on. This direct contact with a mature improviser offers a very different experience than more structured activities such as concerts or workshops and can be particularly constructive for interested participants.
Over the years I have given innumerable lectures on musical subjects, primarily in academic settings. A look at my books and articles will clarify my principal areas of interest, although I am always excited by an opportunity to expand my own horizons with new ideas, subjects or viewpoints.