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My Principles of Improvisation

by
Nicholas McNair

CD Cover

  1. I bring absolutely no preconceived material with me to the piano; no structure, no material (melodic or harmonic), no formulae, nothing. My mind is intentionally a blank.
  2. A second or two before starting I usually hear the opening and proceed to play what I have heard (this may be just a chord or a half-bar); I then allow my hands to take over.
  3. My hands are part of an intelligent system that is far more rapid and responsive than my rational processes. The intelligent system operates automatically according to the pleasure principle (unless actively over-ruled) and therefore automatically seeks to communicate by means of that principle.
  4. The musical language employed in the first place is frankly tonal and harmonic; absolutely no conscious attempt is made to distance or distinguish the language from that employed by other composers in the past.
  5. This openness is an integral aspect of the unconscious productive process; it is quite unnecessary to judge similarity of sound as evidence of being derivative.
  6. Improvisation helps to encourage the recognition of music as an ever-present living source- open to all, and the possession of nobody.

Classical Improvisations 
JDT 3006

  1. Improv 1
  2. Improv 2
  3. Improv 3
  4. Improv 4
  5. Improv 5
  6. Improv 6
  7. Improv 7
  8. Improv 8
  9. Improv 9
  10. Improv 10
Sound Samples:
Track 1. Improv 1
Real Audio | Windows Media
Track 4. Improv 4
Real Audio | Windows Media
Track 7. Improv 7
Real Audio | Windows Media

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