MALCOLM GOLDSTEIN / PETER NIKLAS WILSON:
Malcolm Goldstein, born in Brooklyn in 1936, is one of today's most fascinating improvisors, a master of subtle string timbres and creator of an utterly original violin soundworld. Composers such as John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Hans Otte, James Tenney and Ornette Coleman have been inspired by his playing to write pieces for solo violin. In October 1996, Goldstein performed at Hamburg's Monsun Theater together with double bass player Peter Niklas Wilson, a performance of solos and duets, improvised and composed, which is documented here in its entirety.
"It is Goldsteins staggering vocabulary that provides reason enough to purchase Monsun; like the greatest free improvisers, he conjures whole worlds of song, nuance and feeling out of all means available on his instrument. Wilson fields his end of the conversation with rich, warm tones, and a great sense of structure, as if the violinist is providing the skin, and Wilson is constructing the skeleton." (Larry Nai, CADENCE)
Malcolm Goldstein: Thoughts on Improvisation
It would seem to me that improvisation is that instance of mind being whole, of weaving the fabric of many threads - music theory, compositions studied and rehearsed, ear training - into the present moment: the whole musician sounding.
If improvisation were looked upon as a process of discovery by someone, shared within the moment with people, can an improvisation be unsuccessful?
I follow the line
I start from where I am (which is not the same as starting from nothing); there is a lot in all / around us all the time. (Nothing prearranged or anticipated.) It is just a matter of letting whatever is necessary come forth, to be heard (which is not the same as repetition of habits).
(from: Sounding the Full Circle. Concerning Music Improvisation and Other Matters, Sheffield/Vermont 1988)
Soundings for Solo Violin
Soundings are improvisations, an on-going encounter since the mid-1960s, exploring the rich sound possibilities of the violin. There is no pre-set structure; rather it is the process of discovering new qualities and relationships, that is the flow of the music. Melodies of sound (timbre/texture/articulation) are created that evolve out of the interplay between the resonance of the violin and the gesture of the violinist.
From Configurations in Darkness
The solo violin improvisation is an excerpt from the complete music, a structured improvisation-composition for an unspecified ensemble written in 1995, that incorporates folk songs of Bosnia-Hercogovina. This performance takes one of the melodies (sung by Halima Hvro as recorded in Gacko, Hercogovina in 1935, that was transcribed by Béla Bartók living in exile in New York City in the 1940s), and spins it out freely as an improvisation.
Recorded live in concert at the Monsun Theater, Hamburg, 29 October 1996, by Vlatko Kucan (direct to digital two-track).