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Chapter 8
To conclude this Chapter, two brief yet important exceptions are necessary to complete
this survey of musicians’ practise and preparation: firstly, a minority of musicians
who did not practise at all (and who, especially, never improvised in private) and,
secondly, musicians who used ‘controlled-discontrol’ to generate and explore new
materials during the course of performance, and who departed from their repertoire of
practised and immediately-available materials to create surprise, freshness and specific
musical effects.
Not Practising
Contrary to fellow electronic musician JD Zazie’s private recording and reflection, and
despite his time-consuming preparation of sound sources, Valerio Tricoli was almost
entirely opposed to the idea of practising improvisation before performance. For
It doesn’t make any sense to me, to practise... [and] Hans-Georg Gadamer46
explains this very well. There is this concept, this old German concept, of the
Kammerspiel. Kammerspiel is, in the beginning, the idea that you play for
yourself. So that you play without an audience. What Hans-Georg Gadamer
says, is when you play with no audience and you just play for yourself,
anyway you are projecting the idea of an audience outside of yourself. And
this idea of Gadamer I think is very true.
But this projection that you make... it doesn’t give you any fucking feedback.
So the tension that you have is between you, musician, and you projecting
yourself as an audience [is] just so self-centred that there is no way that you
could do what you’re actually doing when you play live.
Like Tricoli, who described how, “Even if I buy a new small piece of gear, I maybe
try it once before then performing with it - try it once and then, ‘Oh, ok. Let’s see’
”, Burkhard Beins investigated his materials only on the most basic level prior to
If I find something new that’s interesting I’m trying to explore it a little
bit more on my own, but then I leave it, and then I just explore it in the
actual work process or playing process. [...] Practising is not what I’m so
interested in.
Gadamer (1900-2002) was a German philosopher best known for his 1960 work Truth and Method
(Wahrheit und Methode).
Despite Beins’ advance mental preparation (see p. 170).