Thursday, June 10, 2010

ImprovFriday - Threadin' the Needle

Every Thursday afternoon a splendid spontaneous gathering begins at the experimental improvisational Internet site and web community known as ImprovFriday. Started by musician/sound artist J.C. Combs, the site on the Ning network has steadily attracted musicians worldwide interested in pushing the edge of aural creativity.

The weekend 'thread' as it's known launches officially at 4pm PST with an open call for it's community of 150+ members to post newly created music either complete or not on the Thursday thru Saturday 10pm PST forum, the foundation of the 'thread'.

Each participant is free to download any of the posted pieces and 'mash-up' with their own ideas, reposting to expand on the original idea or more probably take it entirely somewhere new.

I'm been participating in ImprovFriday for the last 3 months and have found it amazingly fresh, inspiring and a constant sense of both honor and encouragement from each fellow artist.

In addition to the musical dialog, thread participants post their reactions, thoughts and feelings throughout the open weekend call. ImprovFriday member Paul Muller and host of the monthly ImprovFriday Radio series, often posts brief review comments to as many pieces as possible which are sometimes pushing 50 pieces of amazing original music each weekend. I too have tried to post my thoughts to all participating artists as much as possible as for it's a way of 'giving back' when I can.

In an effort to give visibility to our wonderful gathering located at, I've jotted down the following responses which are just momentary reactions on listening to each piece from the recent thread of June 3-5, 2010.

Member musicianMusical WorkMy Reaction
Jukka-Pekka KervinenYM2612 (6/4/10-#1)/ABClose to the circuits, like being inside a pinball machine.
Jukka-Pekka KervinenThe Not So Lonely Piano Player Anymore (feat. Roger "ErocNet" Sundström)Right out of R2D2!
Jukka-Pekka KervinenMD/GBA 06/05/10-#1Highly creative 'noize' with great sense of backwardness/forwardness.
Jeff FairbanksDentedTim Story like melody but still finding the 'noise'.
Joseph BenzolaPatti & Lenny Crash the Stage at the Electro Singalese Bar in the BronxGreat visionary vibe and I think I hear an udu!
Roger "ErocNet" SundströmGitimp100604Hands on strings, inside the coils.
Roger "ErocNet" SundstrômGitimp100604-2Tension on the wire, bouncing colors from above.
Roger "ErocNet" SundströmGitimp100604-3Great sense of minimalism, in instrument and feel
Roger "ErocNet" SundströmThe Lonely Piano PlayerGuests in one room, piano soul in the other, blissfully oblivion unites.
Roger "ErocNet" SundströmSlownoisen feat. Jukka-Pekka Kerviven, Bruce Hamilton & Paul MullerI think there is a sleeping polar bear rising from the mix!
Roger "ErocNet" SundströmLine Dancer feat. Steve Layton & Ken PalmerLovely color and mystery, bit of Pat Metheny at times.
Roger "ErocNet" SundströmLaw Twist feat. Jukka-Pekka Kerviven & Jim GoodinI'm proud to be part of this mash, Roger thanks (think the R man is feeling my struggles with the lawyers of late). Great noise from Jukka.
Greg HooperThat Which Hair Is Flesh To feat. Benjamin Smith, Jérôme Poirier, Peter Thörn, Norbert Oldani, Roger "ErocNet" Sundström, voice 0f Virginia BaxterAtmospheric environmental. Voice midway reminiscent of Hal in 2001 or the voice in Portal.
Steve LaytonThrumdrumLower east side from the heart of Texas!
Steve LaytonEpic feat. Peter Thörn, Norbert Oldani, Bruce Hamilton, Steve Moshier, Steve Layton, Jérôme PoirierClocks, the turning of time, voices in the halls...
Steve LaytonBedroom Windowechoes of Mark Isham.
Steve LaytonThe Ties That Break or Bind feat. Bruce Hamilton, Lee Noyes, Roger Sundström, Jim GoodinThanks for including me in this mash and bringing some balance to my angst at the time with Misters' Hamilton, Noyes & Sundström.
Steve LaytonOutward feat. Jeff Fairbanks, Jeff Duke, Gaetano Fontanazza, Shane Cadman, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen Jeff Fairbanks, Jeff Duke, Gaetano Fontanazza, Shane Cadman, Jukka-Pekka KervinenLovely mash, reflective canyons and journey's.
Steve LaytonCorroboree feat. Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Peter Thörn, Lee Noyes, Steve Layton, Roger SundströmGlitch, oscillations and pensive tones from the North.
Steve LaytonDie Wunderkammer feat. Ken Palmer, Benjamin Smith, Steve Moshier, Norbert OldaniLovely pensive tones, indeed a 'cabinet of curiosity'.
Steve LaytonManic feat. Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Lee Noyes, Roger Sundström, Jérôme Poirier, Jim GoodinFlattered to once again be in one of Mr. L's mashes and in a word as the name implies...
Norbert OldaniRhythm ImprovisationSynth patches against latin percussion, for some reason reminds me of Stan Kenton who in a sense was 'experimental' for his time.
J.C. CombsRandom Title Generatorfeat. J.C. Combs, Norbert Oldani, James Ross, Shane Cadman, Roger "ErocNet" SundströmInside a clock beginning seguing to ambient/mixed media, technique J.C. does so well.
J.C. CombsSoundreel feat. Werner Herzog, Buddy Holly, Easy Rider, Star Wars, Afrika Bambaataa, Taxi Driver, Planet of the ApesWow echoing on the mixed media, all wonderful 'Hollywood' moments brought together in reflective mix.
Paul MullerIF 6-4-10A contrast to Paul's more rhythmic recent pieces, floating angelic patches.
Paul MullerThrumdrum Plus feat. Steve LaytonPaul mashes his floating ostinato synth wash with Steve's streetesque beats proving how things grow on IF.
Peter ThörnA Close ShaveIn physical, much manipulation about the piano soundboard, in the metaphysical, spirits at the door.
Peter Thörn6 Layers in AudacityPulse, stare, across the room...
Bruce HamiltonFlissFloating, pulsing, melancholy, light.
Bruce HamiltonLooj feat. Miles Hamilton-SommerSpooky, native lands
Bruce HamiltonBasstopPensive, a story within.
Bruce HamiltonCompulsionTVesque open, could be Hill Street...
Bruce HamiltonLonely Duo feat. Roger "ErocNet" SundströmMore ghostly tones in this mash, lots of spirits in this thread.
Bruce HamiltonPaint the Sun Danger feat. Jim Goodin, Steve MoshierOnce again nice to be mashed and to be balanced with such a cool vibe from Steve.
Jim GoodinBlur Between The Lines feat. Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Peter Thörn and Bruce HamiltonNot meaning to review my own work but in this is the mash I of three others, thought it neat textures.
Ken PalmerSqall Lineknowing Ken hails from Missouri and it's tornado season in the mid-west/south I can feel the approaching winds in this piece.
Lee NoyesFilter RollsGreat oscillations and Lee's fav past time of space between the tones.
Lee NoyesPassionate, IrregularThere is indeed passion both 'for' and 'in the noise' here.
Steve MoshierTale of Two CitiesAround each corner, who goes there? 'Ghostbuster' tones here, sense of motion.
Steve MoshierHatariNeat 'street beat' to stellar melody, tip of the hat to Mancini?
Benjamin SmithBen.Improv.May.30.2010Randomness and exploring but with 'Monk like' sensibilities.
Benjamin SmithBen.Improv.Jun.4.2010
Nice patch texture muted steel drum core meets Michael Oldfield
Steve Layton & Benjamin SmithAfter HoursTouching interplay, analog to digital, digital to analog.
Shane CadmanPiece0604010Lovely acoustic work, thinking lines akin to Steve Khan.
Shane Cadmanif060410_Muller_Cadman feat. Paul MullerThinking of Shadowfax...
Usit Gaetano Fontanzza & Jeff DukeRegolithThese guys have been working together a lot through NinJam and the result is wonderfully connected muse from thousands miles away.
Jérôme PoirierPortrait : Sans Titre 52 d'Eric LepoureuxLyrical low end bowing, forceful direction surrounded by interesting percussive/plucked textures.

Visit us on ImprovFriday at each weekend to follow the newest thread and work.