Skip to content

Questionnaire: Jeff Gburek (2007)

November 2, 2010

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

Some basic music theory for orchestration and also classical guitar training. How I draw from this experience varies according to the projects I am working on.

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 many instruments, but my primary tools are an electric guitar, mixing board, various analog pedals, piezo-electric units, laptop, various microphones from top line devices to junk from salvaged electronic devices, minidisc player/recorder, strange objects with nice resonance for preparing the guitar.

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


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

I am increasinlgy involved in composition, but I leave wide open spaces for improvisation. Sometimes I am purely improvising. I perceive improvisation as a tool to reach certain energies in music and as a way to transform my consciousness.

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

There are long range plans and short term plans. Both come together for improvisation.

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?

You can for sure practice improvising. But practicing for improvisation is a strange question. Even if you try out sounds before playing there is a new context which changes their perception and reception. Sometimes all plans must be abandoned or altered drastically to make some kind of musical sense in the situation. Sometimes it is good to stick with an idea even if you think it might not be working because the tension of its “wrongness” (who percieves it as wrong?) can create an interesting dynamic.

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

No general rule about this. You judge case by case. I might add that I don’t depend on improvisation to make music necessarily always interesting. In the case of my acoustic guitar work, a good improvisation is one that leads fluidly back into one of the compositions. And it always works.

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

The awareness of being recorded can have an effect on what I am playing in all cases. But I try to forget. Studio recording is different in that you might think a bit about what kind of sounds will not sound so good reproduced in stereo medium. Recording narrows the range not only of sounds that are possible, but also the range of the dynamics that can be created with space/time itself. Recording for a release often puts you in a double frame of mind. You are creating something to issue into a different space than the one you are creating in.


From → Questionnaire

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: