The art of improvisation

In collaboration with Siena Jazz
Attività Polo Musicale Senese

Entrance examination: August 19 and 20 – 10 a.m.

The Seminar is open to soloists of any instrument, to singers and to established ensembles.
Ensembles that have been established for at least one year will be eligible for a special reduction.

The Seminar is structured in two parts:

1. Workshop “Tabula Rasa – The Art of Improvisation”. The workshop will be held in the morning at a time to be determined by the instructor, depending on the number of students who pass the entrance examination. .
The entrance examination will consist of the performance of a piece chosen by the candidate from his/her own repertoire.
Students from the Improvisation workshop can sit in as auditors to the Ensemble rehearsals (which will be held during the afternoon, from 3:00 to 7:30 PM).
There will be a final concert for students from the Workshop.

2. Project “Tabula Rasa – Chigiana/Siena Jazz Ensemble”. This project is the result of the desire shared by the Accademia Chigiana and Siena Jazz to jointly create a group “in residence” for both Sienese institutions of musical excellence. A restricted number of musicians to be chosen by the instructor will be invited to take part in this Ensemble.
The entrance examination will consist of a motivational interview and a performance audition to last no longer than 15 minutes.
The Ensemble’s inaugural concert will held at the end of the first rehearsal session.
Musicians invited to be members of the “Tabula Rasa – Chigiana /Siena Jazz Ensemble” must commit themselves to taking part in four other rehearsal/workshops to be led by Maestro Stefano Battaglia between October 2019 and February 2020 in Siena, closing in a final concert to be scheduled as part of the Micat in Vertice 2019-2020 concert season calendar.
The four rehearsal/worskhops will be entirely free of charge for the members of the Ensemble.
The calendar and definitive schedule will be published shortly on the Academy’s website:

The Seminar and the Ensemble are open to all instrumentalists, singers, and pre-established ensembles.
Siena Jazz students as well as students admitted to the Tabula Rasa Ensemble (even if they are not enrolled at Siena Jazz) are exempt from paying attendance fees. All students must, however, pay enrolment and examination fees.

Candidates should specify on their Application Form whether they would be interested in taking part in the Workshop, in the Ensemble, or in both.

Tabula Rasa – L’arte dell’improvvisazione Workshop

Lessons will be in the form of workshops dedicated to research based specifically on approaches to improvisation, both traditional and those influenced by new music
The methodological syntax will be based on direct musical experience, linked to instrumental action, different compositional techniques and a wide range of creative and expressive forms. It aims to be an alternative complementarity to normal study courses based on representation, assimilation and repetition of models and styles.
It adopts a performative method, which is committed to accompanying all musicians who have decided to make music their profession and art through their most difficult and decisive period. These musicians need an autonomous environment free of pressures from the circuit where they can experiment through continuous practice and research experiences, both individually and with groups, to reach a more complex but more joyful, articulated and informed musical maturity.
The lessons will explore the following:

- learning how to listen to and recognise musical material: the four parameters
- learning how to build and manage the creative process without established models
- examining the relationship between mindful listening and reaction
- defining different levels of autoresonance and musical perception
- developing a complementary instinct among musicians in their instrumental action
- building musical balances within a group more quickly
- acquiring the ability to recognise, develop and create a dialogue between thematic forms, accompanying narrative subjects and developing them semantically within morphological structures: the three narrative parameters
Once the learning phase has been completed, there comes the moment to create an identity for oneself by dealing with the musical experience experimentally. This task requires delving deeply and is often put off indefinitely by musicians; it explores compositional awareness and develops technical/instrumental expertise to the same degree. The purpose is to negotiate the most dynamic future possibilities for the world of music through on-the spot composition, experimenting with different ways an improvisation performance may be conceived.