Racer Sessions

Sundays, 8-10pm at Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA

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Thomas Campbell - July 15, 2012


One thing that has stuck out to me in the past two years or so of coming to the Racer Sessions has been the general length of the improvisations at each session. The content, mood, number of people involved and tons of other aspects of the improvisations have varied radically, but in general most of them seem to last for a minimum of five minutes, averaging a little below ten, and can go even longer. I’m not saying this is bad at all, just that it interests me how consistently it works out. I think this is a common aspect of music where improvisation is involved, and not every part of a song is planned out and executed the same way every time.

My focus for this week’s session is shorter improvisations, and generally just being more aware of the effect that time has on the improvisations. For the first part of the session, I will be performing a series of short pieces with someone I met through Racer who has inspired me since, cellist Natalie Hall. The pieces are kind of examples of what I like about shorter improvisations: aside from having more focus in general, it’s easier to me as an improviser to keep track of the overall structure of a shorter piece. For this reason, the pieces we’ll perform have general sketches with broad structural outlines, the content of which is improvised.

This is my fist time curating after a long time of coming to these sessions, but I would just like to say how grateful I am to everyone involved and how glad I am that I’ve been able to come here and be able to connect with and learn from so many great people. Thank you all.