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Gregory Hall
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Gregory Hall
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I perform my improvisations live in the online virtual world Second Life in front of live audiences, often two or three times weekly.
I am a classical composer with an interest in improvisation, performed as an extension of my written work. To an extent I have had to invent my idiom, as what is mostly taught and encouraged in this culture is jazz and pop improvisation, although the art of stylized classical improvisation was once widely practiced. I play twice weekly to live audiences in Second Life: Thursdays at 12 noon Pacific Time at Cairo, Laurel Arts Isle, and Fridays at 12 am Pacific Time at Mayfair. You may find my full performance schedule here, where you may click on the calendar entry to obtain the SL URL (in-world URL): You may also go to the following URL to hear my streamed concerts without going to Second Life: *********************************** My appearance on "Live with Paisley Beebe", Second Life's main interview show. Click "play" and you will see my performance, then go to 6:08 for my interview. Check out the review of my improvisations in ROLE magazine, the "Time and Vanity Fair" of Second Life: and also in the "reviews" section of my soundclick 'band' page, under "navigation' immediately to your left. Check this one out as well: *********************************** These are unedited classical piano improvisations, done live in front of an audience in Second Life (called 'Live') or done live in the studio ('Studio'). They are also dated month_day_year, so be sure to check out the latest ones! Audience improvisations tend to be longer and more expressive; studio improvisations shorter, with a greater density of musical ideas. Although I use a standard set of "tunes" (motives), like a classical composer I do not start with a preset chord progression or form, so each improvisation on a given tune will be completely different, and unique to that performance. My style is one I variously refer to as "Classical Improvisations" or even "Compositional Improvisations". I like the latter because although there are a number of people who improvise in a "classical style", this often involves improvisation in an older classical style. I am a contemporary classical composer, and my improvisations are extensions of my own contemporary compositional style. My "band" page is and there you will find both studio improvisations, which tend to be shorter and more dense musically, and live improvisations which are done in front of SL audiences and while looser and longer, they can also be more expressive. I will be replacing these frequently as new ones come along all the time! As a general rule, the most recent ones will be the best, but there may be some good stuff on the older ones as well... *********************************** I currently have three commercial releases out on CD. These are of my written works, but I often perform improvisations on the themes: ***********************************
Have you performed in front of an audience?
Two or three times a week, for Second Life audiences. Yes, I like to do it very much. I also perform in a variety of local venues.
Your musical influences
The composer Alexander Scriabin is the main influence on my improvisational style; after him Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, and Messiaen. I am also influenced by the composer-pianists of the 18th and 19th centuries, to whom improvisation was considered a high art: Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Brahms, etc. "Keiths" Jarrett and Emerson are my contemporary influences; Jarrett in a sense gave me "permission" not to use a preset form in improv, and Emerson melded Classical and Pop improv for me in a very influential way.
What equipment do you use?
Yamaha Grantouch piano: has the complete action of a Yahama acoustic grand inside, but the hammers hit electronic sensors rather than strings. It's a hybrid: the best of acoustic and electronic pianos in one instrument. I stream this instrument live into Second Life, and it is the one heard on all my recordings.
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