Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fresh interest

Fred Sturm, a longtime veteran of music in the crossing between through-composed and improvised music, has shown interest in the symposium on behalf of students from Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, Wisconsin, for 2009.

In the months to come we will make contact with a variety of educational institutions across Europe and North-America to build a platform for next year´s symposium.

Stay tuned...

Friday, August 22, 2008

International Meltingpot

- Do I play the random notes before or after that weird horn chord?

- Just play.

- But...?

- Just play.

The first "International Realtime Music Symposium" became a true melting pot for 46 students from a dozen different countries, 5 faculty from SIM in Brooklyn (US), and faculty from the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. Geir Lysne (NO) conducted and led the Norwegian Wind Ensemble orchestral labs at night.

SIM held daily workshops with Ralph Alessi, Ravi Coltrane, Andy Milne, Drew Gress and Mark Ferber as visiting faculty to the symposium, reinforced by lectures given by Ivar Frounberg of the Norwegian Academy, Jon Balke (NO), Eivind Buene (NO) and Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (NO). The amount of information passed on in 5 days was staggering. The next time around we will attempt to focus the workshops and lectures further, tweak and tune the opportunity for dialogue as well as find ways for everyone to intermingle more easily in and out of sessions.

We believe that contemporary Norway is a good and fertile breeding ground for such a symposium, much due to its unique and strong tradition for improvised music, as well as its modern tradition of eclectic music composition and academia.

We aim to continue the symposium next year, 10th-15th of August, in Oslo. Please contact us at post (at) if you are interested in participating in 2009.

All pictures from IRMS 2008 taken by student participant Olaf Taranczewski. Thanks Olaf!

The first "Realtime Music Symposium" 2008

In 2008, The Norwegian Wind Ensemble was initiator, creator and host of the first ever international "realtime music" symposium, where skilled improvisers could meet with skilled composers of new music, in a large ensemble setting. Open workshops were being held from the 11th through the 16th of August, in close collaboration with the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, and School for Improvisational Music in Brooklyn (SIM). The Arts Council Norway provided extra funding for this pioneering effort. Thank you!

30 students of music, mostly from Europe and North-America, met up with 16 students from the Norwegian State Academy jazz and compositional departments, under the guidance of SIM, the NAM and the NWE, for a whole week of workshops focusing on improvisational techniques as well as improvisation as a formal element in modern composition.

The motivation behind the symposium is to create an annual event that over time will become a common platform on which both improvisers of modern music as well as composers of modern music can meet up with one of the world´s leading acoustic chamber ensembles; The Norwegian Wind Ensemble; to continuously explore the realm of "realtime music".

What is "realtime music"?

Realtime music is a music that attempts to blur the lines between traditional improvisational and compositional techniques for large ensembles. Furthermore, it attempts to reach a form where the improvisation feeds the composition in realtime, possibly changing the course of compositionally planned events etc. This in contrast to the more established idea of "3rd Stream" music, where improvisational elements typically contrast the composed material in more traditional ways. Whereas 3rd Stream also typically involves clear references to traditional jazz styles and a "jazz esthetic", realtime music will not be discriminating in its musical references, rather adopting any reference freely.

The Norwegian Wind Ensemble hopes to contribute to contemporary music by pushing the envelope of what is possible within a traditional acoustic chamber ensemble setting. We are always looking for new collaborators, improvisers, composers, theorists; who can help propel this much neglected area of music creation. Our hope is that the "International Realtime Music Symposium" can become a perfect platform for this type of collaboration in the years to come.