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Improvisational Workshop with The Bridge: Linking Up and Bridging People, Places, and Things

Open to all skill levels. Bring an instrument.

Join members of The Bridge, a transatlantic network for jazz and creative music connecting artists between France and Chicago for an immersive workshop on the concepts of musical improvisation. The musicians will expose the different North American and European approaches to improvisation: how to spontaneously build and compose music based on group interaction. Exercises will allow participants to understand values such as the importance of silence, space and placement, how to listen to oneself and others simultaneously, how to intervene and what are the mechanisms of decision making in the moment; etc.

Sophie Agnel, one of the most renowned improvisers in Europe, who will be touring Chicago in April with The Bridge, is know for having turned the grand piano into a real living and vibrating organism. Classically trained, escaped from jazz (drawn away by the too strict treatment of harmony), she boards the piano from every sonic angle this musical vessel can offer : keys, strings and board are simultaneously apprehended, in a mixed procedure that would be understated if it was reduced to the cagian definition of the prepared piano. Considering the instrument – that she extends with several accessories, paper cups, balls or strings – as a poetic supplier of anamorphic textures, the musician takes it to be an equal match to the wider diversity of musical systems. During this workshop, which is not limited to pianists, Sophie Agnel will extend her understanding of these extended techniques, precisely, to collective improvisation situations.

The Bridge is supported by Ministère de la Culture, Sacem, Centre National de la Musique, Spedidam, Adami, Institut Français, Experimental Sound Studio & University of Chicago.

Class Schedules and Availability