Creative Music Studio

Many jazz fans from the 1970s know about the many musical collectives formed in various cities. Groups such as Chicago’s AACM and St. Louis’ Black Artists Group were hubs of fervent creativity. This CD sets focuses on an equally important axis of musical experimentation, based at Woodstock’s Creative Music Studio. CMS’ vision is to create collective synergy. This means musicians from different regions and backgrounds can live together and work together, forming a musical vocabulary. CMS’ Guiding Artists included musicians who were rooted in jazz like Oliver Lake and Charles Brackeen, as well as classically-oriented artists such as Fred Rziewski and Ursula Oppens. Ornette Coleman, co-founder of Creative Music Foundation, stated that “anyone in today’s musical scene knows that rock and classical, folk, and jazz are all yesterdays’s titles.” “I believe that the music industry is moving closer to becoming a single expression, one with endless musical stories for mankind,” said Ornette Coleman. CMS was founded by Karl Berger in 1971 and Ingrid Sertso in 1972. The original advisory board included Buckminster Fuller and John Cage. Gil Evans was also a member. The Studio had recruited nearly all the top musicians in the creative music industry as Guiding Artists by the time it closed its 45-acre campus in 1984. CMS welcomed musicians like Ismet Siral from Turkey and Nana Vasconcelos from Brazil. They brought with them the musical traditions of their respective countries and helped to create the “elements that are common to all music”, as the Studio’s philosophy states. Don Cherry, the trumpeter who was a regular presence at CMS, was central to the development of “world music”. Five Guiding Artists, George Lewis, John Zorn and Charlie Haden, as well as Cecil Taylor, Cecil Taylor, John Cage, were awarded MacArthur Fellowships. Although some musicians only attended short workshops, others stayed for years at CMS, the CMS spirit of exploration, freedom and collaboration influenced thousands of CMS participants. A BREAK HISTORY OF THE CREATE MUSIC STUDIO Ornette Coleman Karl Berger Ingrid Sertso Karl and Ingrid continued their work in Woodstock, where they continue to perform concerts and lead workshops. The couple shared the CMS concepts with musicians all over the globe for over a decade. CMS had over 4100 hours of recordings from the Studio, including workshops and performances. This rich archive CMS is digitizing and remastering. Columbia University’s Library has been partnered by the Creative Music Foundation to preserve the CMS Archive. CMS will give Columbia all of its archive of tapes and memorabilia, as well as photographs and other documentation from CMS. This is the first CD set of this exciting project. Berger stated that these compilations would present a vivid image of CMS in highly listenable CDs. They were selected for their exceptional artistic excellence in the free-wheeling spirit and Creative Music Studio. Each piece has been carefully selected for its musical vibrancy and historical relevance. We also used the workshops as rehearsals for the concerts. The concerts were open to the public and attracted as many as 30 to 100 people into a large conference space. The room featured a slate ceiling which provided excellent acoustics. The recording booth was located just to the side. Guiding artists led groups and composed. Participants, also known as students, were there to learn from masters, collaborate with others, and create new works. Most of these were recorded. Participants were asked to ‘audition’ their music by sending cassettes that showcased their compositions and musicianship. About 20 participants were chosen for each workshop, with the aim of attracting musicians from a wide range of musical instruments. CMF offers the Guiding Artists of rare recordings a digitalized version free of charge. This will allow them to access the CMS Archive. from

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