The background to this thesis has been the author’s own free improvising, which he has pursued since 1974, and the questions that have arisen whilst music-making.
The thesis takes three of these questions as its point of departure: – what is free ensemble improvisation, what characterizes free ensemble improvisation and how can it be defined – how does free ensemble improvisation relate to:
- instrumental technique
- idiomatic improvisation and stylistic influences
- aleatorics and indeterminacy
- different types of systems (e.g. biological, social, dynamic/chaotic systems)
- what might a conceptual model as a theoretical base for free ensemble improvisation look like?
The artistic/performative part of this research project has primarily consisted of public concerts, as a result of longer/shorter periods of cooperation with four permanent and a number of temporary (ad hoc) ensembles.
The results provide a better understanding of what free ensemble improvisation is, in what respects it differs from other forms of music-making and how it can be defined. Free ensemble improvisation’s relations to the points mentioned above were found to be more multifaceted than expected. However, it was possible to attain a basic two-layered conceptual model as a theoretical base for free ensemble improvisation and, in its extension, as a basis for the analysis of free ensemble improvisation.
The study includes numerous concert projects, of which several are recorded and included in this book on two CDs with MP3 files.