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Free Improv—The Hard Way

As a fringe genre, “Free Improvisation” does not normally attract large production budgets. Often time-constrained, the subsequent technological approach to the production tends to emphasize the naturalistic and neglects many of the tools and techniques that are commonplace in contemporary popular music. The author produced the album, The Making of Quiet Things by The Number (featuring Keith Tippett). This album consciously employed a range of contemporary approaches such as creative and corrective automation, reverberation-matching, audio editing, and extreme compression, while maintaining an overall impression of minimal mediation. This paper considers and contextualizes such an approach, reflecting on the practice and its implications for the genre.

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