by Gisbert Schürig

Link zur Deutschen Version

Minimal Improvisation is a form of improvising music and movement, developed by Phyla (Jennie Zimmermann and me). It´s main characteristics are strict reduction and repetition. Within this framework, subtle nuances can be highlighted effectively. Also, it can be used to develope more complex musical structures gradually and to transform these structures continuously in an ongoing collective improvisational process.

In the beginning of this process, each performer strictly reduces the vocabulary of sound or movement to only one. Reducing the means of expression of the single performer emphasizes the collective process, the interaction of the performers and the way the sounds affect each other. The decision, which specific sound or movement to use lies completely in the hands of the individual performers. Also, the temporal structure of that sound´s repetitions and, later on, it´s transformations are chosen by the performers – within a certain range.

By labeling this process ‘Minimal Improvisation’ we take recourse to Minimal Music, it´s emphasis on repetition and reduction. Also, we refer to Contact Improvisation and it´s non-hierarchical interactive approach.

This text was first published in my Production Diary blog.

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