Glenn Stallcop       Composer, Performer


There is absolutely nothing one can do about emotional intensity

Frozen Geysers was recorded in February of 2007. TheThere is absolutely nothing one can do about emotional intensity previous year had been one of personal tragedy and stress, and it had left me somewhat shell-shocked. I needed time to work out the sense of loss. I treated the opportunity to record this group of improvisations as both an emotional outlet and a source of healing. Some of these improvisations are rather dark, but more often, they are simply reflective.

The metaphor of “frozen geysers” is an effort to portray the feeling of emotional intensity, which is held, at bay by the knowledge that there is absolutely nothing one can do about it. The music is actually not as dark as I remember it to be. Much of it is quite beautiful in a reflective, melancholy way. Other parts of it are not as dark as they are just very cold. For years, I have debated whether or not to release this album, as it reminded me of that period of my life. But like everything else, that period passed, and I have grown to enjoy this music for what it is.

Though the music on this album is freely improvised, it is more classical than jazz (certain free jazz/improvisation artists excepted). I am a classical musician by trade, and have been a composer since I was very young. I am more prone to spontaneously compose while improvising rather than to “groove” as a jazz musician would. I treat rhythm and harmony freely and in a complex fashion at times. However, my music is always expressive. It is the direct emotional and spontaneous outpouring that drew me to improvisation in the first place.

I also use improvisation as a spiritual practice. The act of improvisation forces me to concentrate all of my attention on what I am doing now, not on what I just did, what I am going to do, or what I was planning to do. As such, my music always has a certain meditative quality, a certain inner stillness, even when it gets busy. There cannot be fog without silence.