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A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos

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A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos

Postby Moonchild on Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:34 am

"A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos"

From TGD Boxset (CD1)

Why is it listed as an improvisation when Fripp clearly says a track before "This is a new piece we've been working on for a considerable amount of time...this is called A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos"

do you think it's mistake? I'm just curious.
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Re: A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos

Postby vrooom on Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:37 am

Ahhhh...it's that age old question of when is an improv really an improv. Is an improvisation a piece of music that comes completely from the top of your head, a spur of the moment act of art? Or can it be something that has a foundation laid down previous, bringing together prepared themes and song elements and putting them together in an improvised fashion. As far as I can tell, KC works in the latter with the band working on several song elements or "vectors" before tours and bringing these together to form something relatively new every night...so in a way it is only partly improvised, perhaps?

With regards to "A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos" I always took it to be a grandious, throwaway line that meant absolutely nothing, but may have been used a couple of times in the tour for effect.
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Re: A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos

Postby Glenn Seitz on Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:14 pm

vrooom wrote:
With regards to "A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos" I always took it to be a grandious, throwaway line that meant absolutely nothing, but may have been used a couple of times in the tour for effect.
I totally agree. It appears that Fripp had a tendency to be somewhat facetious. I have always been intrigued by the fantastic improv's from this KC lineup. There are so many of them that are not similar at all (each one of them great in their own way). Its almost as if they "composed" them quickly in the sound-check, or did they really just improv them from nothing? Amazing stuff.....
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Re: A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos

Postby vrooom on Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:25 pm

With that line-up, you often hear a Wetton bass riff act as the foundation and sometimes these bass riffs are repeated/altered with the other guys playing around it. The more modern KC takes a more modular approach to improvs.
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Re: A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos

Postby steven on Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:46 pm

I always assumed it was Fripp being a smart ass, knowing they were about to do an improv.
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Re: A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos

Postby Krimzep on Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:18 am

giving a title like { AVTTCOTC } to an improv or working jam is just a way to help the audience stay coupled to the performance. It keeps the listener grounded to the music as a title gives them something to ponder while they listen to something they have no knowledge of or connection too. It doesnt matter if they called it swiss cheese and bananas the title helps people stay awake for what would have been 15 minutes of jamming for no reason.
Last edited by Krimzep on Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos

Postby Glenn Seitz on Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:50 am

I was under the impression that these great improv's were either named after the venue or city (Providence, Asbury Park, etc.) or were just given some random name when released (Fright Watch, We'll Let You Know, etc.). Then again, maybe they were written in on their set-lists, and the names just stuck.
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Re: A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos

Postby Indyrod on Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:24 pm

Glenn Seitz wrote: Then again, maybe they were written in on their set-lists, and the names just stuck.


Then they wouldn't really be improvs...
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Re: A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos

Postby vrooom on Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:40 pm

So naming a piece of music before you've played it stops it from being an improvisation? Are we getting existential here or just plain daft? The lines between reality and fantasy are blurring. So if I say: "The next thing I play on my keyboard is going to be called 'Indy's Rampant Trousers'" and then thrashed around aimlessly on the keys for a bit, it wouldn't be an improvisation. However, if I did the keyboard thrash first and then named it, it would be an improvisation?

It reminds me of that old joke:

Q. When is a door not a door?
A. When it is ajar...
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Re: A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos

Postby Indyrod on Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:48 pm

vrooom wrote:So naming a piece of music before you've played it stops it from being an improvisation?


To a certain extent, yes, at least with me. If something is planned, then I believe more than a name is implied, some sort of structure of something is implied if not a finished product. sheesh, most of KC's music comes from what probably even you would call an improv of somekind and then progresses to an end product. I define an improv as a piece of music that sometimes comes in the middle of a regular song, or a song that leaves its original intent into something else, NOT PLANNED. Or, in Crimson's case, something that developes out of the blue between songs as in your example "thrashed around aimlessly on the keys for a bit". It's a fine line I know, and it's up for interpretation. You're not right or wrong, it's your opinion. If they plan in advance, and even give a period of music in a live show a name, then I have a hard time calling that an improv. One of the greatest improv artists of all time, Miles Davis, would probably agree alittle more with me. It's something spontanteous, something that developes with no planning, and certainly not something you would name in advance. :P
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