Masters Profile: Improvisers

This format is directed at performers who want to attain a broader view of rhythmical and structural fields. The rhythmical concepts of polyrhythm, polypulse and irregular groupings used in South India provide a very flexible method with which the student can experiment without trying to copy Karnatic music. All the topics are re-structured to enable the student to work only with the concepts and techniques.

Improvisers tend to be performers and creators simultaneously. Therefore, the emphasis of the specialisation lies on a combination of rhythmical techniques to improve their accuracy, along with creative concepts that can be used to compose pieces or improvise solos.

The specialisation will be comprised of:

-Two different options as to how to deepen in the material.
-Creative output.

Depending on the choice of how to deepen in the material the student will be awarded with 30 or 35 credits for the two years. The student will be coached individually during the creative process as well as in the ensemble situation while putting the pieces together.

Ways of Deepening in the Material

1) Option A (35 credits)

  • Following the so-called ‘Improvisation Ensemble’ each year
  • Following a CMTNWT composition class**** each year
  • Attending bi-weekly sessions where the ‘roots’ of the material, as well as what other creators have done or are doing with Karnatic rhythmical concepts, will be listened to and analysed within a musical context.

The credits distribution for Option A will be as follows:

  • 15 credits from the Ensembles,
  • 15 credits from the master electives of which 10 credits replace the following of the compulsory ‘Arranging’ course (these credits will be allocated to the composition lessons)
  • 5 credits from the main subject (these are the credits and time allocated to the individual coaching – please see creative output below).

**** Following the composition lessons does not imply that the student have to create through-composed pieces in a classical contemporary style. These lessons are meant for the student to acquire many more creative techniques that are not imparted in the improvisation ensembles.
    
2) Option B  (30 credits)

  • Following the so-called ‘Improvisation Ensemble’ each year
  • Following the so-called ‘Reading Ensemble’ each year ****
  • Attendance to bi-weekly sessions where the ‘roots’ of the material, as well as what other creators have done or are doing with Karnatic rhythmical concepts, will be listened to and analysed within a musical context.


The credits distribution for Option A will be as follows:

  • 15 credits from the Ensembles,
  • 10 credits from the master electives for the reading ensemble
  • 5 credits from the main subject (these are the credits and time allocated to the individual coaching – please see creative output below).


**** Following the reading ensemble will help the student to reinforce the main ‘building blocks’ of Karnatic rhythm as well as seeing various techniques from a completely different angle, as well as increase the reading skills of the musician.
   

Creative Output

The student will be coached individually as well as collectively in order to

  • Create and perform 2 pieces with a trio or quartet as line-up (7-8 min), to be prepared during beginning October-beginning December and mid-December-3rd week of February. Alternatively, the student could present his/her own idea or project, provided that the amount of work will at least equal the amount of work foreseen for the trio or quartet.
  • Create and perform another piece with a quintet or sextet as line-up (ca. 12 min), to be prepared during beginning March-mid June. Similarly, the student could present his/her own ideas or projects.


All pieces prepared in these two years can be used for the MA1 exam as well as the graduation recital.