Ambient Images: Revolutionary Approach to Spontaneous Improvisation

Since this blog is called “On Becoming,” let me share how my music is becoming what I’ve dreamed in the area of spontaneous improvisation. It has to do with an approach to worship realized by the reunion with a dear friend and artist, David Jones, who I knew before computers!


A little backstory: for years, people have asked me to make a CD of spontaneous improvisation like I’ve played in many services and at KC-IHOP (House of Prayer). Except for our memories, all of that sound went up into the atmosphere and dissipated, never to be recorded. That was fine with me, but others seemed to want it for their home quiet time.

Birth of The POOL vision

During this time of my improvisational and compositional development, I became troubled by neglected Christian artists (music, art, dance, etc.) and began to encourage them to revisit their artistic discipline and pool ideas together. The aim was to give artistic collaborations to people who need help, healing, and encouragement. (That’s why THE POOL, my non-profit, was born.) Similarly, David and his amazing artist wife, Marilyn Propp-Jones, had moved to Chicago and were giving the same type of support for young print-makers and artists.

The search
Recently, I’ve sensed it is now time I put some energy into doing more of this myself, but I was stuck.
 For years, I had searched for art and videos to back my improvisation and come up short. What I do doesn’t fit with scrolling photos or sound waves that follow the sound or even a steady beat. Nor does it comply with a I IV V chord progression in any key. Nothing wrong with these elements but I heard and saw something different.
I felt hopeless because what I wanted didn’t exist. At least, I’d never seen it.
How could I encourage the body of Christ to expand if I couldn’t show them?
Let's fast forward

40 years later: David and Marilyn have built successful careers in Chicago and have recently moved to Wisconsin to impact the print-making community there as well as continue their own art.

David saw my posts about some recent compositions and shared one of his explorations with me. I sat with my jaw hanging open. Hope flooded my heart as I watched his video in awe. David’s “ambient images”–images that swim around you randomly like liquid art–took that concept to a high art level.
Instantly, I knew this was what I had been waiting for all these years.
In the 1980s, I had occasionally put art and dance behind my recitals in the classical world. We dropped colors from an eye-dropper into a bowl of water on a projector as we played. That was revolutionary in those days.
During our time apart, all three of us developed in new directions, but now our Lord brings us back together to create something we never would have dreamed possible back then. David has taken an uncut, unedited, raw take of some improvisation I did on a lone morning in my studio and added his artistic genius. It gave me chills the first time I saw it.
Why not join free improvisation with ambient images?
In conclusion, I can’t tell you how excited I am to show you this initial concept. Please watch the video below on the largest screen possible with no distraction. This is what we see spontaneous worship becoming.
Feel free to comment on Facebook (Judith Pauley Markovich) or Twitter (@hislightscribe) and David on Facebook’s Anchor Press page. Let us know what you think. Would you like more of this?

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