Christopher Williams Topic: Physicality         


Path 00

Chapter 0: The Ground

A Personal Beginning

In 2007, violist Mary Oliver and contrabassist Rozemarie Heggen invited me to write a piece for their duo incorporating improvisation. Despite my diverse experience writing chamber music, free improvising, interpreting, and working in a host of interdisciplinary formats, the request seemed odd.“Why … Read Chapter

Path 01

Seeing the Full Sounding

For the improviser, the physicality of producing sound (the hardware) is not a separate activity from the thoughts, emotions and ideas in music (the software). In the act of creation, there is a constant loop between the hierarchy of factors involved in the process. My … Read Chapter

Path 03

Entextualization and Preparation in Patterson’s Variations for Double-Bass


Most composers of notation for improvisers are improvisers themselves. This is no coincidence. As composer-pianist and improvisation scholar Vijay Iyer has noted,

The most savvy composers writing for improvisors are those with personal experience as improvisors – those who possess an intimate understanding of … Read Chapter

Path 04

Invitation to Collaborate — Répondez s’il vous plaît!

Notation is an invitation to collaborate.1

In the planning of communities a score visible to all the people allows each one of us to respond, to find our own input, to influence before decisions are made. Scoring makes the process visible.2

Collectivity … Read Chapter

Path 05

Say No Score: a Lexical Improvisation after Bob Ostertag

A Score can become a notch cut or line, an account kept, number of points made, set of twenty, a topic, piece of good fortune, worst in repartee, and much more. And not to forget a Partitura from the Latin Pars indicating both partial, direction … Read Chapter