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Questionnaire: Christof Kurzmann (2007)

November 2, 2010

1. Have you got any formal musical training, and what do you draw from it now?

I never studied or even learned any of the instruments I´m playing. I learned everything like I learned english: by listening to The Rolling Stones.

2. What kind of equipment/instrument do you use, and what is you relationship towards it? What do you think lies behind your choice of the equipment/instrument?

I play an selmer saxophone from the 40 from Paris. A very cheap green plastic clarinet and a macintosh G3. The software I use on the Mac is called lloopp. It’s a patch that Klaus Filip built based on Max MSP. Without this software and without the help of Klaus all the music I play right now, would sound very different. The software is very important for the aestethics that I developed based on it.

3. What is it that attracts you towards musical experimentation?

What attracts me, is the communication. It’s the same thing that attracts me when I meet people. Therefore, I prefer to play music in groups instead of solos. I prefer the dialogue instead of the monolog.

4. Why are you involved in improvisation, and how do you perceive it?

See above. Also I think, in its best moments improvisation can reach a form of organization that is as well relevant to our social and political status in this world.

5. How do you perceive the relation between planning and spontaneity in improvisation?

I think both have the same value. It depends on the project and your goals with it.

6. Do you “practise” for an improvisation, and what are your general thoughts on the idea of “practising” for improvisation?
When you improvise, do you use sounds that you’ve already “tried out”, and how much room is there for actual sound experimentation?

I never practise. Of course I use sounds that I used before. But I always treat them in a way that could be called “different” or “new”. And of course no sound is innocent. So it changes it’s meaning constantly, depending on the context it is performed with.

7. How do you evaluate an improvisation? What is it, according to you, that makes one improvisation better than another?

In the end it’s how I feel. And how I feel the others. It’s, as I sad before, like in a dialogue. It mustn’t be agreed what we are “talking” about as long as it is vivid and interesting.

8. When you are recording for a release, does the awareness of being recorded influence your playing, and in what way?

Not at all.


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