Thursday, 2 January 2014

Improvisation with Keith Rowe

During four days of rehearsals under supervision by Keith Rowe, there were many musical aspects which all opened various musical views to me.
As a classical violinist, I had never been dealing with playing in an ensemble of laptops! while I had only 4 days to get ready for improvising with them! I had no idea about how to do it! My mind was busy with lots of questions...
Keith came to the practice room and gave some keys then left.

Keith's keys:
1. Just try to feel the room.
2. Listen to all details of sounds are surrounding you.
3. It's better to play NOTHING rather than playing so many things but mean NOTHING.
4. Now I give you only 1 minute to play only 1 single tone.

It was the most challenging moment because we had just met each other. The first one minute practice passed mostly in silence but only with few tones. 

5. Now play only 2 single tones in 1 minute.

Still everything was confusing and hard to control.

6. I never want you to feel satisfied of your performance because it causes your fail.
7. Now I give you 5 minutes to play completely free.

We were getting closer to find each other but there was a huge problem. and that was the danger of "Sonic Sausage"!!!

8. It is very easier to decide when to start rather than decide about when to STOP!

I had to keep listening to others and play as closer as possible to their sounds. I needed to find new different sounds to match with the ensemble. (This is what I am going to talk about in next post.)

Keith emphasised on two most important keys:
Never forget the practice about 1 single tone in 1 minute!
Never forget that It's better to play NOTHING rather than playing so many things but mean NOTHING.

London College of Communication, 8-12 December 2013


  1. And do you think you managed it? you said you found new ways to play and a new experience with your violin. Well done for posting!

  2. Thank you for your comment! There were actually lots of things which were somehow unconscious, but as I said I am going to unfold them via next posts :)