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The term art is often taken to imply that the creation and the perception of the artifact in question has been somehow imbued with magical, you-won't-get-it qualities. To me nothing could be further from the truth - unlike creating and perceiving art, many of the everyday actions seen as "easy", "logical", or "common-sensical" (e.g. the way you interact with your TV) demand a particular cultural baggage, and force the human into a particular framework, causing the interaction to be less natural and harder to enjoy than creating or perceiving the most complicated-looking art.
Good Art (if there is such a thing) gets its point across without demanding previous knowledge; it only demands an open mind. Such claim is easy to dismiss - for our entire system of education is a gradual ladder leading from nowhere to nowhere important. It educates us to believe in fallacies such as: little (aka stupid) children should listen to the easy-listening mumbo jumbo that passes for today's children music. If given opportunity to create, they should be given rigidly limited framework and tools so that, G-d forbid, they don't create a mess (hail the gods of automatic quantize). Clearly, being brought up in this fashion results in a fear complex of any uninhibited art - as one is afraid to not be able to comprehend the complex art. Art, however, is not knowledge; its 'acquisition' need not (and should not) be hierarchical. If a painting or a sound piece gets your attention, if it has what for the lack of a better term many artists call energy, then you can be 3 or 80 years old - you will feel it.
This philosophy, coupled with an endless inspiration I got from my music professor of many years (and a brilliant musician) Viacheslav (Slava) Ganelin, is what guiding me in both the academic research and the performance art.
The following links are the beginnings of the slowest-produced album ever (I play hundreds of improvisations but it is extremely rare that the circumstances will have a microphone around). The album is (going to be) called Children.
The first song, Sortie Sortie Por Favor, is from March 2003. Michael Lew is singing, I'm playing.
The second song, The Accomplice, is from July 2003. I'm playing x 2.
The third song, Who. Are. You?, is from December 2003. Yael Naim is singing, I'm playing.
The fourth song, Little Animals Sleep at Night, is from October 2004. I'm playing. It is more of a sketch than a song.
Stay tuned for more songs. And, if you have an interesting idea for the album cover, feel free to suggest.
An older (and much shorter) piano improvisation can be seen here (12MB), or heard here (3.4MB). The recording quality isn't good but it is quite reflective of the improvisations I've been doing in the last 4 years (this is the beginning of that period).
Some background for those that care: I've written extensively, in different
styles, and for different purposes (bands, ballet, film, big bands, tv/radio
ads, etc). Right now I'm mainly interested in the non-idiomatic improvisation
(which is a fancy way of saying "mixing everything together and seeing
what comes out"). Musical inspirations include avant-garde jazz, 70s jazz-rock,
20th century classical, and the non-NewAge variety of world music (Latin
& African in particular).