Improvisatory Poetry

  • Any Solo Instrument with Audience Participation
  • Completed: 16 October 2020; Premiered: 16 October 2020
  • Sheet Music Plus

This composition is entirely improvised. The performer improvises a “commentary” on a short poem chosen and read by a member of the audience. The performer is expected to respond between stanzas to the imagery of the poetry in either subtle or dramatic ways.

Before the performance, audience members are invited to suggest a favorite poem that can be read onstage, perhaps one that can be found online using a phone. The poem should be relatively short, ideally four to eight short stanzas.

If possible, the poem should be typed into a PowerPoint presentation (see below for free template) and projected for the audience. In this case, it is suggested that the poem be sought early in the performance so that an assistant can prepare the presentation during a different piece.

An audience member comes to the stage to read the poem. It is not essential that the audience member who reads the poem be the same as the one who selected it.

The piece was created as part of my Rooftop Trombone v2.0 series during the second lockdown in Malaysia due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Improvisatory Images is a companion piece involving images submitted by the audience.


Don Bowyer
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