Music Improv- Introduction to Free Improvisation: An Intuitive Approach to Creating Music Ensembles

Class Description: Discover possibilities for exploring your sound, whether with a musical instrument, your voice, or any object that can be used to produce a sound or rhythmic beat. In this workshop, we will explore the fundamentals of creating soundscapes spontaneously in the moment with others. Through guided experiences that introduce fundamental skills for improvising music in ensembles, this course works from the premise that there are no wrong notes. Learn ways to deepen your listening — to yourself and to others — while creating spontaneous new music as a part of a collective.

No prior musical experience, and no previous knowledge of music theory, is required for this course; everyone, from beginner to advanced musician, is welcome and on equal footing in this workshop. Together, we go beyond the constructs of traditional musical study and work entirely by ear and intuition, guided step by step with facilitations that open space for innate creativity to arise.

Required Supplies
Please bring any portable instruments you would like to play or experiment with during the class. If you do not have access to instruments, Olen will be providing a selection available for your use during each class meeting.

Current Class Sections
Thursday 6:30 - 9:30pm | Jan 12 - Feb 2
5 Weeks | Ages 18+ | $175

About the Instructor: Olen Hsu (b. 1975) is an American ceramic artist creating vessels and sculptures in high-fired porcelain and stoneware. Olen first trained in ceramics under the mentorship of potter John Takehara for a period of eight years in his hometown of Boise, Idaho. He then completed undergraduate studies at Yale University (BA, history of art & architecture), where a research grant through the Edward A. Bouchet Fellowship Program enabled extensive travel to draw and photograph nearly 150 Romanesque sites in France and Spain (three months), and various temples, mosques and other sacred sites in Japan, China, India, Pakistan and Turkey (four months). During this travel, Olen also studied various examples of ceramics, enameled wares, lacquer, painting, sculpture, textiles and other decorative arts. Other early training included several months in Australia living and working with potter Gwyn Hanssen Pigott at her Netherdale studio, followed by continued formal training (BFA, ceramics and new media, Kansas City Art Institute; MFA sculpture, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago).

Olen is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Dedalus Foundation, the AIM Program at The Bronx Museum of the Arts (New York), the Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center Artist-in-Residence Program (New York), the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts/Industry Program, and a Turbulence Commission from New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. His work has been shown at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; the InterSpace New Media Arts Center in Sofia, Bulgaria; James Nicholson Gallery, New York; Ampersand International Arts, San Francisco; P.S. 122 Gallery, New York;; The Philadelphia Art Alliance; The Clay Studio, Philadelphia; Matin, Los Angeles; Beaux Arts Bath, UK; and Oxford Ceramics Gallery, UK.