CLASSICAL IMPROVISATION


In the last decades the word Improvisation has appeared in a variety of ways in most of the arts. We find it in drama, film, dance, painting and of course in the world of music where there is an ancient tradition. The word 'Improv' is often associated with jazz, and it is only now that the world of Classical Improvisation is being explored. Great advances in recording have made it possible for a composer to work directly with an instrument in real-time, which leads to complicated and complex solo performance coming directly from the hand and from the mind at the same time. Here is a set of Essays on Improvisation, approaching the subject from various angles.


I developed my own style of pan-tonal piano improvisation years ago, slowly fusing it into a semi-tonal medium over time. Here are some examples of work from recent years, to which I am now adding new pieces in the baroque mode, which I feel is near to the core of keyboard thinking and still offers new ways of development. I often play for others and record for the web, but nothing approaches the hours of private improvisation which lead me to a state of personal pleasure and meditation. There are some things which can be best done solely for the self, and instrumental improvisation as in these recordings, has been for me one of them.

I always invite comments and discussions. email

William Harris
harris@middlebury.edu
Prof. Em. Middlebury College
www.middlebury.edu/~harris