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Free Jazz and Improvised Music

FM39  Mosaique
Greg Mills
1. For Berio 8:59
2. For Messiaen 7:48
3. For Carter 1 4:53
4. For Carter 2 2:20
5. For Xenakis 7:09
6. For Takemitsu 7:04
7. For Stockhausen 9:38
8. For Babbitt 7:11
9. For Lutoslawski 7:47

Total time: 62:49

Recorded February 7, 2016
At The Tavern Of The Fine Arts, St. Louis
Special thanks to Aaron Johnson
Recording & Mastering: Tazu Marshall
Produced by: Jay Zelenka/Freedonia Music
Cover Art: photograph of Sibelius Monument, Helsinki
Sculpture by Finnish artist Eila Hiltunen
Special thanks to Katherine Rynor for allowing use of her original photo © 2016

©(P) 2016 Greg Mills/Freedonia Music
All rights reserved.
Made in St. Louis USA.


Greg Mills: Piano
Improvised music allows for endless possible formings and forms. Among my favorite modern composers are those who have inspired me to improvise within structures suggested by my experience of their compositions. Sometimes this has resulted in a specific piece and at other times a larger body of work. I would characterize this current collection, MOSAIQUE, as nine free improvisations, each within a unique structure suggested by these following ideas, instructions or contemplations:

Berio was inspired by Sequenzas, his masterpiece collection of virtuoso solo works written for a variety of instruments. Messiaen explores dense chordal and arpeggiated structures with made-to-order bird calls. Carter 1 and Carter 2 were suggested by several of his late piano pieces written while the composer was in his nineties. The first deals with meander- ing diads having stark linear improvisa- tions above and below the chords. The 2nd is a perpetuum mobile with no pedaling. Xenakis’ instructions are: “Divorce yourself from the human impulse of melody, harmony and rhythm and let the constellations be your guide.” Takemitsu also has written instructions: “Immerse yourself in a Japanese garden. Realize the power of solace as water flows down a stream”. Stockhausen is inspired by two of his Klavierstucke. Instructions for the first part of this improvisation are: “Play a chosen chord repeatedly; play a chosen note repeatedly. Improvise around these fixed occurrences.” The second half is played wearing gloves in order to play cluster glissandi safely. Babbitt is a pointillistic piece that attempts to not favor any one pitch, register, dynamic, attack or specific interval. There is a judicious use of all three pedals. The last piece Lutoslawski was inspired by his 2nd Symphony. The first part of this improvisation, Hesitant, is meant to suggest forms whereas the second part, Direct, is meant to realize forms, creating complete statements.

--Greg Mills
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