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50:50 Ensemble Open House Open Call 26.02.2024

Why join five improvisers, four nationalities, on Monday 26th at 19.00 GMT on Zoom? Read on!


Open house, meet new people, and take risks in music from a position of shared safety.

Ensemble 50: 50 Open House is an online project that explores free ensemble improvisation in a large ensemble context. The ensemble uses System 50:50 to bring cohesion to the sound field, which can often become cluttered in a large ensemble. As a result, the performance creates a dynamic and shifting canvas of sound that allows small, discreet sounds to be heard and deeper layers to be felt and expressed. Participating in, witnessing, and hearing this performance is an exciting experience.

A Zoom Solution

Fidelity issues can negatively impact shared music in a Zoom room. However, System 50:50 benefits improvisers and reduces this risk.

History and evidence

Phil Morton has been hosting online sessions twice a week since May 2020.
The good attendance over time shows that these Zoom sessions are a practical option for improvisers who want to stay in touch with like-minded individuals and improve their improvisational skills as part of a hybrid practice.

Find out more about 50:50

To find out more about System 50:50 for improvisers please go to the tab `About System 50:50`

Find out more about Open House

Please visit the registration tab, and choose a method to share your details and interests (optional)


Suggested scripts for the form

Name of event, please enter Ensemble 50:50 Open House Online
Location: please enter, On zoom
Comments: add your comments and any requests for support with Zoom and the associated technologies required to support online participation.

Name of the event or project, you have viewed on the website that interests you*
Location of the project if known: if not known, simply enter `not known`*
add your name to the contact list for this project and receive newsletters: .*
Your comments, tell us a little bit about yourself and your interest in this project*
Word Verification:

Email: please send an email, sharing your interest in this project to: philmorton@improvisersnetwork.co.uk

To register for this event and project via eventbrite, please follow the link below.
The link will display all events posted to the Improvisers Networks Online account.


About System 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

If the duration of the piece is 16 minutes, the performer plays for 8 minutes and is silent for 8 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.
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
Each player has `agency` over the content they share during the performance.

System 50:50 for improvisers - Click the link for a detailed description and history.


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.

Youtube demonstration, Duration 1 minute Ratio 50:50 or 1:1 Content, is speech, status managed by the rocker (lever): URL LINK

Link to image of an adapted chess clock URL LINK

Selected feedback about system 50:50

System 50/50 works well - it’s a really good way to get a group to play effectively without egos , virtuosity , and shyness getting in the way. It is democratic, inclusive. coherent, leaderless, focused, there is room to think and time to listen, choices. It is less competitive more cooperative. Ends well. Simon Ross (Macclesfield), Blank Canvas Octet - Liverpool

On system 50:50 “Definitely something with LOADS of possibilities - the reaction in the car driving back was unbelievably positive - no one could remember playing in a large ensemble that was so "open". The openness allowed me to play quietly, which meant the dynamics were incredible for an improvising large ensemble.” - Charlie Collins Sheffield

Dan Goren, Oxford Improvisers. `"It seems to me that any attempt to restrict what free improvisers play, presents a threat to the core nature of their music. Generally, 'To play or not play' is about as far as any predetermination can productively go, the player retaining (almost!) complete formal agency regarding when and what (s)he decides to play"

Richard Harding Liverpool. ``Sometimes in free improv it is just not working but we carry on in the hope it will get better, in system 50:50 if it (free improv) is not working one can select tacet and stop playing`

Jon Aveyard, Lecturer UCLan University. `It gives me permission to do nothing`

Helen Conning, Liverpool. It is democratic

This online session supports

Ensemble improvisations made without prior preparation - and online
Using Zoom break-out rooms means we can support any number of participants.
Open access - there is no peer-to-peer review of applicants - all levels of musical experience are welcome.
You can bring whatever is in your sonic toolbox.
An online session to support a hybrid working pattern for improvisers.
It will increase your frequency of playing and ensemble improvisations.

Zoom Supports.

You do not have to travel to the venue, come rain or shine.
The participants will come from a more extensive geographical capture.
A different social, community vibe - you are often face to face with everyone in the room.
In Zoom, it is a simple process for the host to record a session. The Zoom host can share the recordings to support your interest and development in playing improvised music.

System 50;50 for improvisers supports.

The shaping of sound with silence
The shaping of the ensemble with tacet.
System 50:50 works well on Zoom.
Here is what Simon Ross wrote about System 50:50

System 50/50 works well - it’s a really good way to get a group to play effectively without egos , virtuosity , and shyness getting in the way. It is democratic, inclusive. coherent, leaderless, focused, there is room to think and time to listen, choices. It is less competitive more cooperative. Ends well. Simon Ross

Office use

version #10





BST 31.03.2024
GMT 27.10.2024

UK Bank Holidays


open google calendar -find the generic listing
add read more > featured > dates < test > test in different modules.
dont forget north west






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