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CTW & the WTC - Witt plays Bach & Witt

"Carl's work is highly structured yet full of breath and spaciousness and unexpected turns. It is richly textured and intricate yet conveys its meaning directly. Most importantly, it resonates with clear and powerful feeling..."

—Wynn Fricke, Choreographer

This unique program presents music of J.S.Bach alternating with Carl's improvised pieces. Weaving the majestic timelessness of Bach with compositions unique to each performance, concerts are never the same twice.

Removed from the rarified atmosphere of the average ‘classical’ solo piano concert, Bach’s music is presented in a new and more approachable light. Carl's music appeals to sophisticated classical music lovers but to a wider circle as well.

Audiences feel a gratifying sense of participation in the creation of the music—invited by the artist to listen with fresh ears, people begin to perceive their very presence influencing the character and direction of the improvisations.

Improvisation Master Classes

Witt's approach to teaching improvisation draws on powerful but readily accessible techniques of Buddhist meditation and is applicable to any style, instrument, or voice. Looking carefully at the mind we find that what we think of as 'me' is actually an aggregrate of different images arising and falling. They include mental phenomena like thoughts, judgments, perceptions, emotions, the senses, consciousness itself, and kinetic impulses.

Naturally music is particularly concerned with two of these phenomena: hearing and kinetic impulses. During the vast majority of time, we are unconscious of kinetic activity, and simply respond to the impulse to scratch the nose, turn the head, etc.—or play a note. However, through very detailed observation, we see that if we are conscious of kinetic impulses or an aural image, there is also the presence of judgement, of choice.

Inviting a student to play, Carl focuses his or her awareness on a single phenomenon, temporarily excluding all others—simply when to play a single pitch, for example. The student then begins to see the power of choice in improvisation. By gradually adding in various other choices like how loud to play a note, which pitch to play, whether to play a note at all, they start to become aware of and to tap into a vast ocean of choices that perhaps they weren't aware of before.

One strong advantage to this method is that students are encouraged to think beyond their typical (unconsciously chosen) repetoire, their 'bag of tricks,' and to explore new, often more expressive and musically coherent territory.

"Carl Witt’s talent, soul and humanity inhabit every note; this is no mere dry intellectual impersonal exercise..."

—Bill Binkelman, Wind & Wire"

Hear selections from recent concerts—

CTW: Improvisation I

Bach: Prelude & Fugue in D Major
CTW: Improvisation II

Bach: Prelude & Fugue in F# Minor
CTW: Improvisation III

Bach: Prelude & Fugue in B Flat Major
CTW: Improvisation IV

Bach: Prelude & Fugue in C Major
CTW: Improvisation V

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