Thursday, October 29, 2009

Derek Bailey Documentary on Improvisation

Over the Edge is a four part documentary by guitarist Derek Bailey. Derek Bailey is an experimental musician that focused on freely improvised musics. Taking where free jazz left off, Bailey expanded the musical vocabulary even further beyond in the ideas of structure, rhythm, harmony, and sound. He further blurred the boundaries of genre and collaborated with many artists from wildly different backgrounds and training, trying to find a common thread or language, for an arena for which any person is able to engage and participate in a musical world.

This documentary explores improvisation as the common theme that ties all musical expression together; from the sacred to the secular, the popular to the classical, folk to experimental, Bailey focuses on radically diverse music from all over world, from all different times, and sows together a musical story in which improvisation is the muse for all music.

This documentary is a based on a book that he wrote on Improvisation, check it out!

I found this documentary on the wonderful Ubu website. A site dedicated to documenting all things avant-garde. Unfortunately however, they only have two of the episodes uploaded, one and three, so if you know where I can find two and four, please let me know! Thank you and I hope you enjoy the documentary as much as I do!


I: Passing it on
Broadcast 2 February 1992 this programme featured: Douglas Ewart at Haynes School in Chinatown, Chicago; improvisation in Mozart with Robert Levin, piano and the Acadamy of Ancient Music with Christopher Hogwood; John Zorn and Cobra; improvisation in religious and devotional music and communities with: Naji Hakim - organ improvisations in Paris; Gaelic psalm singing on the Scottish Isles of Harris and Lewis; and Indian singing with Pundit Hanuman Misra.

III: A liberating thing
Broadcast 16 February 1992, concentrating on jazz based and free improvisation. With Max Roach at the Harlam School of the Arts; Butch Morris conducting (with, among others, Shelley Hirsch); Sang-Won Park and Korean music; Max Eastley's sound sculptures; Derek Bailey (solo and fleetingly with Phil Wachsmann, Steve Noble and Alex Ward); Steve Noble and Alex Ward duo; Nashville musicians including Buddy Emmons; Eugene Chadbourne.


Ryan Kirk said...

I've been meaning to watch this for like two years, I'm going to do it today finally.

sebastianx13 said...

You can download the full series of "On the Edge"

You have to sign up but it well worth it. I've only just found it myself.

Zachary Devereux Fairbrother said...



Daniel Carthy said...

you can also watch online here