Friday 30 January 2009

Conduction #180

I'm with Butch 100% on this one:

Morris developed this system gradually in the 1970s and 1980s, after his work in jazz, free improvisation and contemporary music left him dissatisfied. He had tired of the theme-solo-theme patters of jazz; collaborative improvisation had moments of brilliance, but Morris's desire to isolate and elaborate interesting melodic or rhythmic fragments was generally frowned upon; and he felt the reverence towards composers and printed scores in contemporary music did not allow for the full use of each musician's unique voice and improvisations.

Keyboardist/bandleader Sun Ra and drummer Charles Moffett both conducted improvisations of jazz musicians in the 1970s, and Morris credits both as major influences.


Morris started with a vocabulary of just 4 signs, leading players to repeat, sustain, change speed or playout; today his Conduction technique uses a vocabulary of some 20 signals that let him play his ensembles like it was a single semi-autonomous instrument, a bank of player-presets he can coax and curl into the sounds he needs for the moment.

Well-makers lead the water (wherever they like); fletchers bend the arrow; carpenters bend a log of wood; wise people fashion themselves.