*** Terrible Noises for Beautiful People ***
For the past several years, I've been teaching improv theatre classes. Because I hate improv shows, I mostly teach classes to various non-performers. I've recently taught groups deaf kids, anarchist squatters, amateur opera singers, bad kids, honest people with real jobs, and a slew of others.
Last year, for my birthday, as a result of a strange but intense whim, I begged my friends and students to participate in an improv music class. Although I know pretty much nothing about music, and although most of the people I invited found the idea scary or merely distasteful, a bunch of people showed up. To everyone's surprise, including my own, it was a tremendous amount of fun. I orchestrated a bunch of vocal noise exercises, sort of based sort of on ideas from theatre games, sort of based on my own notions of how improvised music should work.
Over the past year, I've been doing more and more of these classes. Some have been one-off events. In the fall there was a five-week series (amazing fun!) and in the summer there was a disastrous performance, where the people we were trying to please walked out of the club in anger and disgust (strangely, also amazing fun).
I'm gathering up people to do more of these. I hope to do some sort of series in the New Year. But for now, I'm getting one last event in before Christmas.
If you've never been: It's really pretty indescribably amusing. The evening consist of structured exercises for group sound improvisations. The results are sometimes alarming, sometimes spooky, sometimes beautiful. Carl's been to the classes, and he's a music writer and all, so I asked him to try and describe them. He came up with this:
I like Carl's description. But really, the events remain somewhat indescribable. If you're curious what they're like, your best choice is to come by and see.
To attend the event, you need to register in advance. Attendance costs $8 if you sign up before Dec 9, $10 thereafter. Reduced rates are available for the poor and the stingy.
Of course, singing ability and musical knowledge are completely unnecessary. In fact, they may serve as impediments.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Write me there for info, to sign up for the Dec 16 event, or to be added to my mailing list for future improv classes and events.