Some of the artists that were involved in the free improvisation movement had Surrealist interests and tendencies, and some did not. Some came from academic backgrounds. Some did not. But even though there was diversity within the individual backgrounds and approaches to music making, it became apparent that music did not have to be dictated to an instrumentalist by an outside composer, but there existed the potential that anyone and everyone could participate as a human being, with the possibility and reality of making an authentic self-expression, an idea that we promoted and believed was necessary for a new musical revolution.
For us, this revolution was significant. To unleash the potential within every human being, that music could be free, that one did not have to have special training in order to make music, but that through free improvisation, anyone can develop a heightened sense of listening, awareness, and creative consciousness was our mantra. That to immerse oneself in the activity of improvised music making, providing access to the deep subconscious layers of the human mentality, could bring about a cultural transformation, informed through a heightened subconscious, artistic mindfulness needed and lacking in our materialistic and distracted Society.
Eventually, through I.N. and the evolution of the improviser, first as an independent xerox magazine, then as a published journal, “the international journal of free improvisation,” a mouthpiece was created to network practitioners, and to inform the consciousness of the free improviser. It was a collective endeavor. Articles and essays were sought, and contributed freely. Music was exchanged. The dialog defined a movement which espoused improvised music as an art form in its own right.
This was clearly at the heart of concerns when Trans set out to access the inner worlds of the imagination, by disassociation from rational thinking while exploring sound on an instrument, or sound in the environment, everyday found objects, explorations into the new (at the time) world of electronics, extended techniques, and social forays for the purpose of creating a new collective music.
Our efforts to create and maintain the improviser, the international journal of free improvisation, continued in print for 15 years, the last print edition was published in 1996, after which the improviser transitioned its content to the website built by Glenn Engstrand, continuing to accept articles, essays and music review through 2010, when the cyber-journal culminated active publication and celebrated the 30 year anniversary with the improviser festival occurring simultaneously in five cities across the United States. The improviser was actively published for thirty years (1980-2010).
With the current proliferation of many internet websites, social platforms and blogs now accessible for the dialog between active musicians, music philosophers and artists, the improviser, for now, remains on the web as an archive of the formative years of the free improvisation movement since 1974 in the United States.