Saturday, February 2, 2013

bye bye butch

RIP BUTCH MORRIS, MASTER CONDUCTOR

I'm sad to hear about the passing of Butch Morris, one of the biggies of improvisation conducting (there aren't that many of them). I had the chance to see him conduct a few times and, along with Walter Thompson, he seemed not only able to devise his own conducting language, but to teach it to improviser orchestras in a fairly short time.  Watching him work could be distracting, but the music that resulted was usually amazing. Here are a few clips of Morris an one of Thompson (for contrast). At one point I got inspired to try to devise a similar conducting system and let me tell you that it is much harder than it looks.




Walter Thompson (this one even has dancers)