Music Mind (workshops for everyone)

During the '70’s and '80’s, the Woodstock-based Creative Music Studio was considered the premier study center for contemporary creative music. Unprecedented in its range and diversity, CMS was an acknowledged phenomenon in the international music world, Founded in 1971 by Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso and Ornette Coleman, the Creative Music Studio (CMS) brought together leading innovators in the jazz and world music communities, among them Don Cherry, Anthony Braxton, Leo Smith, Foday Suso, Abdullah Ibrahim, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Cecil Taylor, Jimmy Giuffre, Frederic Rzewski, Carla Bley, Dave Holland, Paulo Moura, Nana Vasconcelos, Pauline Oliveros, Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso, Baikida Carroll, Trilok Gurtu, Steve Gorn, Ismet Siral, Jack DeJohnette, Fred Frith, Oliver Lake, Lee Konitz, Leroy Jenkins, George Lewis, just to name a few. (A complete list is available at

The Workshops offered here give a rare insight into the non-stylistic daily "Basic Practice" at CMS, originally designed to facilitate improvisational communication and the dawning of original approaches. As it turned out, Basic Practice also provided a new approach to rhythmic-dynamic-harmonic flexibility and focus that provided a new sense of detail and spontaneity while opening the vista within and beyond any given stylistic environment.

"These approaches are just as fresh and needed today as they were in the 70s and 80s" KB

1. Elemental Studies and Practices

1.1. Basic World Musical Studies ( coaching for players of all instruments )

With the increasing exposures of world musical styles and forms, and the expanding cross-cultural influences in almost all areas of contemporary music from acoustic and electronic composition and interpretation to the many forms of world jazz and world pop, there is a growing need for a clear and thorough understanding of the world-wide common grounds and principles of music.

Presently, music is presented mostly in stylistic confines that exist side-by-side without much interaction and communication between them. However, many musicians, composers, educators today are crossing over between different styles and forms of music on a regular basis.

Here we address the common grounds and contrasts of world-musical forms in:

1.2 Focusing on the way we listen and play

I found, that the study and experience of the elements common to all musical styles in this world not only widens the stylistic perspectives, but also deepens the musical experiences a student will be involved in.

The "particle" approach of these studies speaks directly to the expressive qualities of interpretation, improvisation, composition, and the "impressive" qualities of listening, opening doors to creative insights, new ways of looking at the musical materials and situations at hand. We discover and focus on our uniquely personal responses and learn to believe in them, developing our own music. Here we address:

These practices also address the processes of

So the learning process here is three-fold:

What we do:

The workshops include comparative world-musical demonstrations, theory, vocalizations, instrumental practices and may involve students on various levels of technical accomplishment. While it is good to gain these perspectives early on, this approach also offers new perspectives to advanced students and teachers.

2. Ensemble/Orchestra Workshops

Introducing modular compositions and improvisations, utilizing world-musical sources (f.e. African, Indian, Turkish ), world jazz, traditional ( f.e. Monk, Rollins ), contemporary "harmolodic" ( f.e. Cherry, O. Coleman ), + original works. Utilizing principles also offered in Workshop 1 ( see descriptions above )

3. "GaMaLaTaKi" Rhythmic/Dynamic Training

(as part of a workshop or as a stand-alone training course)

A unique and world-renowned practice of rhythmic cycles, utilizing syllables and vocalizing, training:

elemental rhythmic/dynamic attention and timing, phrasing, melodic expression; deepening the experience of pulse and language articulation, cyclical motion, additive rhythms, odd meters, mutiple meters, sense of space.

4. "Breath - Voice - Sounds - Rhythms"

with vocalist Ingrid Sertso; focusing on the use of voice and movement. Includes introduction to GaMaLaTaKi

5. "Music Mind"

Seminars/Workshops led by Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso (open to anyone), with and without instruments

Formats and selection of topics are customized to the available time and space and to the interests of the participants

6. Improvisation for "classical" players

The Music MInd approach offers a new approach for developing collective and individual improvisational skills for classical players of all instruments and voice, without resorting to any patterned idioms such as styles of jazz etc. We develop an expanded and focused sense of collective and individual sound, timing, dynamics and a sense for instant composing, and confidence in individual sound and expression. We record and listen back, pin-pointing our progress.

Groups from duo, trio to larger ensembles