Jam Band, Zappa, Taqsim, and Bach and of course jazz; these are all part of the extended musical family of improvisation.
You may lean toward the Grateful Dead and extended solos by John Coltrane for your improv pleasure. Or maybe you’re an aficionado of Chicago’s rich new music scene which includes members of the band KLANG.
The quartet, led by Oak Park clarinetist, James Falzone is on Morning Shift Thursday to give us their take on improvised music.
In the beginning there was improvisation. By the Medieval Period, singers were being taught how to improvise a counterpoint to a fixed melody. Jump ahead more than a few hundred years and you have scat singing. When a jazz fan thinks of improvisation, they may look back into the music’s history for stories of the "cutting contests"; late night jams sessions between friendly rivals.
“This is the first presidential election in which social media will play a mainstream role, and it's important to remember not everything is as it seems online,” wrote Bob Sullivan for NBC news. Sullivan goes on to argue that campaigns are using social media to their advantage, and sometimes, to the disadvantage of other campaigns, creating a Wild West of internet campaigning.
Sullivan's not wrong; this is the first election when a social media site like Twitter has been as ubiquitous, taken as seriously, and embedded as deeply into everyday life as it is now. That change means the campaigns are trying desperately to use social media to its fullest advantage. But the people who have the most to gain from social media aren't the potential elected officials -- they're the constituents.
As we head into the first Presidential Debate Tuesday evening (Topic: domestic policy. Host: Jim Lehrer. Location: University of Denver.), there's no better example of this than the changing role of the debate watching party.
The staff of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary pride themselves in staying current with language changes, word usage, and now terms that started as “slang” – “the jargon of a particular group”– become part of the general lexicon. Each year the dictionary dutifully adds new words that have worked their way into common parlance.
In the last five years, the list of new, officially recognized words include a number of terms that are a true product of our times. In 2008 the word was bailout, “a rescue from financial distress.” In 2009, staycation, “a vacation spent at home or nearby.” In 2010, austerity, “enforced or extreme economy.” In 2011, boomerang child, “a young adult who returns to live at his or her family home especially for financial reasons.” And, finally, in 2012 underwater, “a mortgage loan for which more is owed than the worth of the property.” Are you picking up on the general theme here?
Words are our windows to the world. They help to shape and they help us to describe and ingest reality.