Author Topic: Playing "outside"  (Read 732 times)

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Offline Eleftarios

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Playing "outside"
« on: March 26, 2017, 04:10:10 PM »
Late last year our friend Solo sent me a pm asking about exercises in how to play “outside”, as in the jazz terminology. At the moment, I had no time to really address the question because it’s a vast world of possibilities that can’t be summed up in a a couple of exercises -- and I was going through a marital breakup and didn't have the mind space available to answer a really big question. It’s a large concept of harmonic relationships and melodic creation that transcends normal pedagogy. But the question has burned in the back of my mind since the asking, and I’ve decided to devote time to it now in the hopes that something creatively useful can be picked up by people on GTC, and as a thoughtful exercise for myself to put a lot of knowledge into some useful form of teaching.

The attached MS Word file includes audio embeds. Unfortunately, the original .docx I created won't upload to GTC. I converted it to .doc format for upload, but the audio doesn't work. You can play the examples on a piano to hear what is intended, or pm me with an email link and I can forward the working file to you. If you you don't have MS Word, I can send a PDF version, but again the audio won't be playable.

This project is meant to be played, not read. You will gain nothing by looking at my posting and just leaving your clarinet in its case while you admire my wisdom. This is a very condensed version of my teaching approach for select students that want to learn about improvisational music. Not exclusively about jazz, nor the dromos/maqam system, because I incorporate them both into a larger philosophy of music making. This is my view of working in/out/between all possibillites of improvisational music so that a student can go forward well armed to look into the endless places to explore. I declaim no rules, I only offer places to travel into.

What I present here requires a reasonable cognition of western musical notation. Sorry for those who only play by ear, but I don’t have a means of putting this together any other way for an internet format. As bad as musical notation can be, it’s really the only method of conveying these concepts.

Offline grd

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2017, 05:29:41 PM »
Well, first I am sorry to hear of your marriage disolving- in the best of cases that is tough I am sure.  Second, wow!  This looks cool and has a clarity to it which I look forward to.  I printed it up and will read through it tonight.  Thanks so much, it is clear you put a lot of effort into it.

Online Mporlos

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 05:53:52 PM »
Eleftarios ... sorry to learn of your personal issues ... no doubt that is a tough road and I (and I am sure our fellow GTC'ers) wish you well ..... AGree with Glenn - this looks fantastic .... appreciate your time and effort to think this through and offer to all of us here on GTC ! ... Best to you ..  :beer: :beer: :beer:  ... Mporlos

Online Kalakos

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2017, 06:12:41 PM »
Thank you for the interesting presentation.
Good work!
I read it to the end too! 😊

(For the Bouzouki Section I use the nick name "Daskalos" which was given to me by Zozef Terzivasian)

"Tha kaei o petros!!"

Offline Eleftarios

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2017, 07:04:03 PM »
Thanks guys. The writing of it was very positive therapy. Don't dwell on my misfortune though, it was a long time in coming and life is better in the aftermath. It's all good, very good in fact. I'm surrounded by by art (my photography work) and musical instruments. Life couldn't be better after several years of difficulty.

Offline warp x

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2017, 10:51:54 PM »
I also got a PM from Solo about playing outside. I did give him some harmonic tips but had no time to make a document like you have. Good work. And all the best to you, Eleftarios.

Online Bass

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2017, 11:17:51 PM »
Elefteris, i will include that file extension as well.  Sorry to hear about your personal misfortune.  And thanks for the the write up, i too look forward to reading it.  I'll pm you to let you know about the extension.
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Offline Merlin

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 01:56:54 AM »
Playing outside is great fun. I suggest making sure that you don't get direct Sun on your instrument if it's wooden, and don't play outside if it's too cold as your clarinet might crack. Rain is bad too.


I'm away on tour so haven't time at the moment to have a read, but many thanks for doing that Eleftarios. I'll download and try to read next time we have a pit-stop.....
Music is the healing force of the Universe - Albert Ayler.
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." - Buckminster Fuller

Offline Eleftarios

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2017, 03:29:21 PM »
Bass updated things to allow .docx format, so here's a repost. The audio should be playable in this one.

Offline a_hennig

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2017, 06:45:16 PM »
Thank you, Eleftarios, nice work. I had a chance to read it today. There's a lot of material covered in that, and you have managed to produce a synopsis that is clear as well as concise. Nice work.

Offline saleas

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2017, 11:56:34 AM »
Great work Eleftarios! :TU:

Nikos Kazantzakis: 

In order to succeed,
you must first believe you can!

Without music, life would Bb

Offline grd

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2017, 04:19:43 PM »
I like your materials.  They are a great and condensed explanation of jazz improvisation.  I took a very different route to playing "outside" myself.  I listened to a lot of "outside" music, both improvised and modern classical music and worked from there.  Players like John Carter on the clarinet, but others like Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton and many other improvisors, and the serialists (Webern, Schoenberg, Babbitt) and all sorts of modern composers (I guess Braxton falls is both and improvisor and composer).  From them I developed techniques, rhythmic concepts, microtones, textures, etc.  I studied 12 tone composition, counterpoint and traditional harmony.  I also learned a lot from watching and playing with my teacher, Joe Maneri, who taught me many things and still influences my thoughts and approaches.  All those things continue to feed into the more "outside" projects I work on.

Offline Eleftarios

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Playing "outside"
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2017, 05:47:40 PM »
I would say that your approach is exactly the path to growth. One must listen, learn and absorb from many sources, then incorporate learned lessons into whatever you are trying to do. My philosophy has always been "No guru, no method, no teacher", after the Van Morrison lyric. Yes, we all have teachers, we all study a methodology in the beginning, and maybe we even revere certain gurus, but we all travel a different road and must leave the gurus behind as we learn about ourselves. Even Siddhartha did so.

Other than drawing inspiration from Herman Hesse, I've also long been a fan of Nietszche's character Goldmund (Narziss and Goldmund is the novel) as an example of the journey of discovery every creative person must travel. In our times of great technologies, it's too easy to create an artificial climate full of exotic flowers, but with no connection to the earth we must live upon.



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