Improvise with us | Pandemic Improvisation

In short:
An international, online, recorded improvisation agglomeration, combining Renaissance symbolism and Minimal group ensemble improvisation (think Terry Riley’s in C)
What do you do?
-What? Record a small improvisation using only the notes G and E, oscillating between them.
-How? Record with your phone or computer or any other way. Video not necessary.
-How long? Minimum of 5 seconds
-Which instrument? Any instrument you like.
-Which pitch? Any pitch is fine, 415, 440, 466, Clarinets in Eb, Horns in D, whatever you want.
-Deadline: 15 January 2021

An example:

2. Email or Wetransfer it to us. If you have trouble sending it to us, email us about that. 🙂
info @

3. Wait for us to put it all together.

The video version:

The longer textual version:

Hello everyone!

welcome to our classical music improvisation website. Improvisation has always been a way for people to get together, communicate their ideas musically and make a community. In this video we want to ask you to improvise with us, to make an international ensemble, a stance against covid and the artistic numbness its effects are starting to have.

How does the idea work (and a little history)?

In the past notes were called, more or less, by their do-re-mi names (except that do was called ut). If you wanted to translate something, a word, sentence or idea, to music, you could do it by taking the vowels of the original word, like CO (O) Vid (I) and taking the corresponding musical syllables. So in this case, Co translates to Sol, and Vid to Mi. Sol and Mi could translate to the notes G and E.

How can you join our improvisation?

Please make a small recording on your phone or computer, alternating between the notes G and E on your instrument. As with CoVid cases, start in a slow tempo, get faster and slow down. In the video (below) you can hear how it could sound. For example:

Feel free to be much more gradual with your speeding up and slowing down.

For clarinetists and other transposing instruments: take whichever notes you call G and E, so they don’t have to be the G and E of the piano.

Extra element

If you want to add another element to your improvisation, you can add the element of a face mask. Start without it, then later add it to your instrument, so it muffles and completely changes or kills your sound. Depending on your improvisatory choice, decide whether the mask comes off again (in the video you can hear two examples).

What will happen to my improvisation?

In the end we will mix them all together, representing the global rise and fall of new cases and our lonely togetherness. The masks represent how the effects of covid muffle our musical and artistic freedom, but in doing this all together, we manage to resist artistically and come out victorious.

We look forward to receiving your recordings. 🙂

With love,

Robert and James