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Composition vs improvisation
Old 26th November 2016
Gear Head

Composition vs improvisation


As others have already said, thank you for making wonderful music! I particularly enjoy your 'Buchla Concerts' from '75, and the collaboration you did recently with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. You have an incredible ear for tone and timbre, and create such immersive soundscapes with your compositions. I find your work very inspiring.

I'm curious - how much of your work is composed and how much is improvised? In the 'Report to National Endowment Re: Composer Grant" you wrote for the Buchla Concerts, you said, "I find the best performances combine the competence of pre-planned and rehearsed playing with the magic of being able to follow one's inspiration when inspired by the audience and the moment." Do you feel the same way now, or do you find yourself doing even more improvisation now that you're returning to the synthesizer?

Also, do you have any plans to release more material created with your Buchla (I hope so )?


Last edited by OneRoomStudios; 28th November 2016 at 02:59 AM.. Reason: spelling
Old 29th November 2016
Suzanne Ciani
Sevwave's Avatar

Hi, Thanks for this question...

Because now there is a memory in the 200e, I usually start a performance with something very specific....but the fun part comes after that....and becomes pure improvisation. That is what the instrument is good at. I mean, one does have constraints: one chooses the patch...the way the system is connected and the way modules can interact with each other, but then it is up for grabs...repatching for different triggers, going wild in various ways...and then coming back to order...I love that curve. Because my fascination now is with live Buchla again...and the Sunergy album is live also...I might release some live performances, I'm thinking. The concerts are always in quadraphonic...and I miss that in a stereo release...but the energy is there and I like that.
I do think I was at the height of my performance chops in the 70's...I don't think I could pull off that elaborate a concert today...partly due to the nature of the machine and the incredibly challenging problems I face with tuning it....but this all takes time...and I think my live performance skills will continue to evolve within the limitations of the current system. My commitment is to stay with the Buchla and not confuse things with any kind of samples or prerecorded stuff.
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