So inside the Williamson line-up there were two proven associations, Robin/Mat and Ches/Mat.
With this as a basis we could confidently get to work.” Where some voices crack and smolder with age, Williamson’s is like a fine sword: it only gets stronger the more it’s folded in its malleable state.
Here, too, the process is usually inspired by, and structured (however loosely) in accordance with, salient characteristics of the model in question, be it a well-known show tune or a ground bass.
During the second half of the 20th century, there arose among certain avant-garde composers and performers a tendency away from any vestige of traditional structure.
Improvisation, also called Extemporization, in music, the extemporaneous composition or free performance of a musical passage, usually in a manner conforming to certain stylistic norms but unfettered by the prescriptive features of a specific musical text.
Music originated as improvisation and is still extensively improvised in Eastern traditions and in the modern Western tradition of jazz.
Despite being prone to putting on magical airs, at his fingertips it is not an instrument of spells and incantations.
The monodic textures that originated about 1600, on the other hand, were ready-made, indeed in large measure intended, for improvisational enhancement, not only of the treble parts but also, almost by definition, of the bass, which was figured to suggest no more than a minimal chordal outline.
In essentially monophonic musical cultures, whether Western or non-Western, improvisation has been of paramount importance, if only because successful improvisation is always more readily achieved by soloists than by groups.
Many of the great composers of Western classical music were masters of improvisation, especially on keyboard instruments, which offered such celebrated composer-performers as Johann Sebastian Bach, W. Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn, and Frédéric Chopin virtually boundless opportunities for the spontaneous unfolding of their rich musical imaginations.
Many an idea so generated eventually appeared in a written composition.
And while he has always engaged larger questions of conviction, politics, love, and sense of place, on he seems far more content to dwell on the little things: spending time with a loved one, the fundamental pleasures of observation, and, as the album’s title implies, faith in life’s givens and regularities. He seems well aware that the limits of his control extend not much farther beyond his own body and the words and music it produces.