A few years ago I wrote a chapter of Jazz Aotearoa, a book about New Zealand jazz music history, discussing the free improvisation and avant-garde jazz scene in Wellington at the turn of the millennium.
in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway is a collection of improvised instrumental music with some of the musicians in that scene, from the point of view of my own attempts as an untrained outsider to fit in with these advanced jazz players.
Simon O’Rorke – synthesisers
The first volume was recorded in Wellington in 1999
Simon O’Rorke – percussion
and many more at www.simon.ororke.net
Free improvisation is a genre of music with a self-explanatory name. Nothing is planned in advance, and the performers create the music on the spot by responding to what the others are doing in that moment.
Its historical roots are in the free jazz of the 1960s, but it’s since expanded to include influences from outside the jazz tradition entirely (just as well since I don’t have proper jazz chops). Often there may no regular beat and no key signatures or conventional melody – hence “the non-idiomatic idiom”.
This kind of free improvisation differs from that of The Winter, which is a regular trio with its own particular flavour, and the more structured improvisation (and regular beat) of The Electricka Zoo and Ascension Band.
Jeff Henderson is a prolific & influential improvisor and multi-instrumentalist, and is manager of the Audio Foundation in Auckland
I’ve also dabbled with free improvisation at other times, including playing at Vitamin S events in Auckland
and with various one-off spontaneous groups in Wellington and elsewhere
At other times I’ve used free improvisations as raw material, which has been edited and multitracked into retrospective compositions – not so much cheating as a whole other topic…