Just play! Invitation to improvisation
by Peter Ewers
337 Seiten, 17 x 24 cm
Ribbon band, solid hard cover
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You would love to improvise? You have to say something musically-artistically? You are a musician and you lack impetus or you do not get a grip on it? You are up for a flying visit to the organ bench of Tournemire, Dupré or Cocereau?
Just play! An invitation to improvisation teaches you in comprehensible and effective steps everything to make yourself heard. Take advantage of new impulses: Take your improvisation into your own hands now!
What is this book about?
- On free improvisations and the specific characteristics on the organ
- On the parameters rhythm, dynamics, harmony, tone colour and melodics as a fresh impulse four your improvisation
- On your own fluent improvisation and the effective us of a plot
- On the techniques of improvisation by Tournemire, Dupré, Fleury and the art of illusion by Pierre Cochereau
- On music as language, useful findings of brain research and a modern notion and texture for your musicality
- And: on your next – even better – improvisation
To hear music – yes. To make music – as well. But to create music oneself in this very moment? That’s what many a musician fears. If this be the case, „Just play!“ seeks to encourage you to take the first step to improvise yourself.
What makes improvising so valuable?
„We have art in order not to die of the truth“, Nietzsche writes. Improvisation in music has withdrawn to some very few places. On the pipe organ improvisation easily lapses into a mere copy of style and the interpreter steps back behind the monolith which the organ is. But the key is the thing itself: Precisely because an improvisation cannot be repeated and can be compared to composing without pencil and paper it shows in its fleetingness and fragility all elements of the moment. The controlled power of the organ sound fills space, structures time and as the „art of illusion“ can impressively counterbalance your own construction of reality. Everything is decided in the first bars. Nothing can be drawn back. Tension and release can be experienced and heard as the basic rhythm of your life.
What makes improvisation seem so difficult?
‚Long preparatory studies, a thorough knowledge of harmonology, counterpoint, particularly the fugue and orchestration’1 are often mentioned as the basic requirements for improvisation. All this is certainly desirable – and often repeated, but sometimes not only the approach to the art of improvisation and the time to reflect it are lacking. Often the first step itself is missing, which should be undertaken in an easy and relaxed manner.
How does „Just play!“ work?
This book is meant to be an invitation to you to approach improvisation on the organ. „The proof of the pudding is in the eating“, which also means that you can try it, actively, try it, just do it. The way which is shown here is only one of many, but I hope you find as much pleasure trying it as I had while writing it.
So let’s begin.
Many examples and analytics for improvisations and compositions from
Marcel Dupré, André Fleury, Charles Tournemire together with the most important gregorian chants as a second impuls.
The five parameters
Measure and rhythm, Melodics, Harmony, Tone colour and dynamics – Direction and Relation – Density – Presence and Awareness – Tension and Relief – Feeling for proportions – Music is language – Experience & Remembrance – Patterns of hand movements – Technique scales – Technique arpeggios
Microcosm – Macrocosm – Messiaen’s mode 2
Background hum – Signal – Feel and hear – Invisible score – Pulsation – Dance – Laterality – Movement and change – Percussive quality of your improvisation
Balance – Quality of intonation – Impact of contrast – Sound emission – Reduction of means – Quest of the sound – Reeds – Cavaillé-Coll
Planes in action – Interlude for the brain research
Play a tone! – Hear tones in advance – Pierre Cochereau
Of the plot of your improvisation – MÉDITATION – Hearing expectations – Play with colour – Against boredom -.on the shoulders of giants – TOCCATA – Theme and motor activity – Reduction – Dance and ekstasy – Compression by limitation – Emotional impulse – Perpetuum mobile – Marcel Dupré: Inventions – registrations
Improvisation in the tradition of the school of Sainte-Clotilde
Using the precision of a plot for the improvisation – Charles Tournemire as a mediator between the older and the younger generation of improvisators – The quest of sound – No clichés but ideas – Tournemire: Cantilène improvisée – Tournemire’s sound in detail – Strength for opposition – Improvisation and clergy around 1905 – Marginalisation of sacral music today
Registrations with Pierre Cochereau
Notre-Dame de Paris – Tonal fixations using the pedal – Change of stops are no new idea – The tonal concept of your improvisation – Richness of sound versus loudness – Constant development and change
Be consciously unconscious!
Spontaneous calculation and calculated spontaneity – Keep open the development of tension – Choreography of the recital – Weighting by proportion – Sonata form – Exchange of material and process – Commemorability – Death of the improvisation: routine – SCHERZO – Dupré: Invention Nr. XIII – André Fleury: Allegro symphonique – Balance of main and side theme – Organ & Co. – Perspectives
Gregorian themes – Bibliography – Index
Peter Ewers, born 1963, autodidactically develops an own style of improvisation after his C-exam, works as an organist at Paderborn cathedral for five years, with up to 480 services a years, publishes in 1996 his first CD of improvisation there, 1997 (at Unda maris, Germany) another CD of improvisations on the Cavaillé-Coll-organ of the Madeleine, Paris (critic’s prize Coup de coeur), in 2000 a CD (Solstice, France) „Les planètes“ on the organ in Notre-Dame de Laeken, Brussels (four of five tuning forks in „Diapason“), in 2004 a CD from the cathedral at Soest „ars moriendi“ with the combination organ and poetry/collage, in 2007 takes part in a DVD-production „organ and dance“ (Contemporary Dance) in Brussels and is frequently invited to improvisation concerts, often combined with dance, poetry, film and percussion.
The author being a psychotherapist coaches musicians and artists with depressions, burnout, stage fright etc. in his own practice at Bielefeld, advises companies with their concerns about communication and works as a supervisor.