Unedited Improvisations: To hear some complete samples, click on an album cover above.
Seven albums are available for purchase on cdbaby, where you can hear 30-second excerpts
from each track.
Improvising is composing, only there’s no time to stop and polish. My aim has been to create music that
has structure—at least a beginning (sometimes the searching part is left in), a middle, and a conclusion
— and that can sometimes “pluck a deeper string.” Within this structure there may be many themes that
play off one another and interweave. Most of these works come into being the way a plant grows, the full
blossoming, (which may be quiet, usually coming near the end. There is no editing (except for a rare few
where sections are cut). I discovered the following quote, which turns out to be a precise description of
how I approach this work:
"When I’m no longer trying to do something, I begin to feel I am led, as if my brush was just following a
definite path. I am just following something which I merely initiated. At that point I am open to something
which I was unable to express before, when I wanted to direct it. And strangely enough, the best moment,
and the best result is when I am here in front of the painting, and the hand is so to speak free. I am not
imposing. At the same time it is me who paints. But it is as if I were following a kind of secret indication.
I am no longer fighting. The struggle has taken place before this moment, when I was at the point of giving
up. And at that point if I’m open enough, then something occurs, something completely new, something
which seems to be true."
(fr. “The Transmission of Content, An Interview with Paul Reynard,” Parabola, Vol. 13.1, 1998.
When listening, I’m astonished. I feel that the person who produced
these does not seem to be the same
person as the one who listens back! The names, which come afterwards, are sometimes uncannily
appropriate; (e.g., Traveling: “The Transfiguration of a Chrysalis,” "The Ecstasy of Living Just One Day,"
"Journey to the Secret Garden"; or Interior Processes: "The Lead Crane Knows He Will Die after This
Migration," "The Dying Crane Praises His Creator," and "Two Cranes Celebrate Their Lives Together,"
and many others. But when improvising I don’t think about words.
Listen for the unexpected.