Ghikas, P. 2018. Unreal-time improv. in: Glover, R. and Redhead, L. (ed.) Collaborative and Distributed Processes in Contemporary Music Making Newcastle Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 147-166
|Editors||Glover, R. and Redhead, L.|
Unreal-time improv is a music-making concept, developed by Panos Ghikas, that involves the development of a live performance interface for navigation through audio-timelines with the purpose of re-sequencing audio gestures. Initially created as a device that can enhance improvisational capabilities, Unreal-time improv has gradually developed into a compositional method and a platform for instrument-building. Through a collaborative project called Open Cycle (2015-), the concept of Unreal-time improv has developed into a wider-reaching activity that considers composition, improvisation, notation and embodiment as ‘communicating vessels’ in the same action of music-making. Ghikas’s main collaborators in this project are Pavlos Antoniadis (piano), Nick Roth (saxophone), Luis Tabuenca (percussion), and Tom Mudd (MaxMSP programmer).
Unreal-time improv has so far been developed as a concept through a wide variety of projects. These have included studio and live performances in collaboration with Jennifer Walshe, Matt Wright, Roger Redgate, Steve Beresford, the Bohman Brothers and Richard Thomas; music releases such as Ghikas and Walshe – Good Teeth, Bohman Bohman, Ghikas & Thomas – Four Perfect Balls; and lecture-performances at the conferences Composition in the 21st Century, and the Network Music Conference. Open Cycles, an Unreal-time improv–derived international collaborative project, has been presented at the Music and/as Process 5th Annual Conference, and performed at the Kontraklang concert series with pianist Pavlos Antoniadis.
This chapter draws on a non-linear web-based presentation of the work in this project. It documents the project’s creative and technical development and explores some of the collaborative themes and concepts found in Open Cycles, a derivative project. Unreal-time improv is constantly developing and expanding, both on a technical and on collaborative level, with still further future ensemble performances and music releases planned at the time of writing. Owing its development to a multiplicity of processes, the research activity surrounding Unreal-time improv has both solitary and collaborative phases. As will become evident in this chapter, activity originating in the personal sphere—such as, development of techniques, concepts and compositional work—mutates into new conceptual strands and synergistic performance models when brought into the collaborative sphere. As a result, Unreal-time improv went through various incarnations, each reflecting the evolving technical needs and conceptual shifts brought in by each collaboration.
|Keywords||Composition; Improvisation; Free improvisation; Musical interactivity; Notation; Embodiment; Musical interface; Collaboration; Directed improvisation; Synergistic performance|
|Book title||Collaborative and Distributed Processes in Contemporary Music Making|
|Publisher||Cambridge Scholars Publishing|
File Access Level
|Place of publication||Newcastle|
|01 Oct 2018|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||13 Feb 2020|
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