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Displaying items by tag: system 50:50 - Improvisers' Networks Online - Share, Exchange, Collaborate
Monday, 22 January 2018 10:13

Liverpool Quartet play 50:50

Liverpool quartet play system 50:50

The Liverpool quartet is a research and development group for the music system 50:50

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 15:30

MIO play 50:50 July 1st

Merseyside Improvisers Orchestra play 50:50

The Friends Meeting House
School Lane

Saturday July 1st 8.00 pm
£5.00 and £3.00


Published in Archive events
Tuesday, 30 May 2017 10:43

MIO play 50:50

Merseyside Improvisers Orchestra play 50:50

The Friends Meeting House
School Lane

Saturday July 1st 8.00 pm
£5.00 and £3.00


Published in Archive events

Thursday 13th April
Noise Upstairs

The Octet will follow Phil Morton’s score 50:50 that is  - 50 % freeplay & 50% tacet, silence during the performance of a thirty minute piece.The music, the musicians are driven by free improvisation in music, whilst they are constrained by the score can the musicians brings a coherence, grace and power to a music that is not composed.

Friday, 09 March 2018 09:20

System 5050 the mechanical chess clock

A demonstration of a modified `chess clock` used in system 5050

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Published in System 5050 Media

The Blank Canvas Octet Play 50:50

The Liverpool based promoter of "free improvisation in music" Blank Canvas,

Published in Blank Canvas
Saturday, 05 May 2018 17:14

Changing the setting of the clock

Changing the time settings for the `chess clocks` a demonstration

Published in System 5050 Media

It gives me permission to do nothing

A statement made by Jon Aveyard in Preston 2017 at UCLan during the Jigsaw open day - all day session

For the moment I will leave it there, if you are registered with the site you can comment (see below) likewise there is a topic in the discussion board/forum on this statement

Discussion board - URL LINK

Phil Morotn October 2018


Published in System 5050 Media
Wednesday, 03 January 2018 09:33

Blank Canvas present MIO the Octet and Linea 4

Blank Canvas presents Linea4 & MIO Octet

Published in Blank Canvas events

The Blank Canvas - Manchester Poject

The Blank Canvas - Manchester will play free improvisation in music using `System 5050`. A full description of System 5050 is displayed below.

This is the launch phase to research and discover if there is: an interest and if this interest is large enough to sustain the Blank Canvas - Manchester

The target number is 24 improvisers, this large number is required due to the comlexity and density of modern lifestyles, to have 8 people present in a room on an agreed day, we need an extended, starting list of 24

If the interest is deeper and wider it is proposed we can explore the creation of an Improvisers' Orchestra as an extension of this Octet proposal. This is `getting ahead of oneself` but shows the options ahead are interesting.Phil Morton proposition is that: System 50:50 is the go to tool for developing free improvisation in larger numbers, say over 15 improvisers, and this disposes with the need of other external strategies such as: conduction, grahic scores, game stretgaies, contemporary composition techniques. More on that another time

Time lines: suggested The Octet project launch date, October 2018

Activities: Fequency, to be decised by those who are involved in the project

What happens next: To express an interest:in the Blank Canvas - Manchester please complete the form below or Contact Phil Morton: philmorton@improvisersnetwork.co.uk : UK: mobile 07999518582


System 50:50 The Accord

The music system being offered here is called 50:50.  

The duration of the piece is agreed before the start of the performance..
A performer must play for 50% of the duration of the piece and remain silent for 50% of the duration of the piece

Example; if the duration of the piece is 30 minutes, the performer plays for 15 minutes and is silent for 15 mins. Each player is free to choose when they play and when they are silent within the duration of the piece but they must have a 50/50 balance between playing and being silent. It is expected that each player will improvise their music, but other options could be explored.

Delivered by the primary and preferred time management option:

Mechanical chess clocks are required to facilitate the aim of the system. One of the pair of dials is called ‘tacet’ and the other ‘free play’.See image above. Each performer has an individual chess clock to monitor and manage their contribution. The performer plays when the ‘free play’ dial is running down and is silent when the ‘tacet’ dial is running down. Further modifications of the format can be explored (perhaps with duets sharing the same clock, or the ensemble split into two and sharing just two clocks) but the use of individual clocks to monitor the contribution of each individual performer is the original basic format.

Youtube demonstration: URL LINK
Link to image of an adapted chess clock URL LINK

Quick summary using 50:50 ratio
Each player `improvises` for 50% of the piece
Each player is `tacet` for 50% of the piece
The totals are aggregated
Each player/improviser has their own clock and manages their own time

In the beginning:
The system was originally devised or created for use in workshops and for large ensembles playing free improvised music. The system can be used for ensembles of any size, and with any duration. The simplicity of the system management device ‘the adapted chess clock’ enables the delivery of a wide range of outcomes from the simple to the complex.

Current concert opportunities and ensemble descriptions:

  • Blank Canvas 50:50 Quartet.
  • Blank Canvas 50:50 Octet
  • Manchester - Blank Canvas Octet & Manchester Improvisers' Orchestra
  • Ad hoc small ensembles
  • Workshop and conference opportunities.

Future Complexities:
Variations of the basic format could include:

  • The number of musicians
  • The duration of the piece
  • The percentage split or ratio between “freeplay” and “tacet”

The observation and strength of system 5050
`It is dynamic, different settings created by exploring the variables above can result in very different experiences and skill sets to be explored as an individual or as a group

Services and support:

Phil Morton has twenty adapted chess clocks which are available to interested parties. System 50:50 is managed by praxis : arts and System 50:50 has access to the resources of praxis : arts.

What happens next: To express an interest: complete the form below or Contact Phil Morton: philmorton@improvisersnetwork.co.uk : UK: mobile 07999518582

With thanks to:
Phil Morton has worked on this concept for some time - 10 years - but he acknowledges with thanks the recent input from the following: Martin Hacket (Oxford Improvisers), Robin Hartwell (Liverpool ) and the Centrifuge wiki-network (North).

System 50:50 Daccord!
P Morton: May 2017

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Published in Manchester

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