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This episode looks at improvisations that result from performers reacting to something - a set of instructions, a sound, a feeling, a genre - to form pieces of music that blur the edges of the definitions of improvisation and composition. Though many of the pieces in this program are considered to be compositions written by composers, the music itself is often a reaction to a set of composed elements, making the individual works fluid, allowing them to change every time they are performed. Featuring David Behrman, Robert Ashley, Andrew C. Smith, Gordon Mumma, La Monte Young, and more.




A show dedicated to the ephemeral: improvised music throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly the outer edges of the spectrum. Visions--spectral, cosmic, worldly and solitary--provide the musical inspiration for so many musicians, and improvisation has proved an excellent means of communication. This show will draw on several musical traditions, including Jazz, Western composition, and others from around the world to explore how improvisation functions, communicates, and generally kicks ass.