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Instant Composers Pool Orchestra

Bennink, Breuker and Mengelberg founded the ICP co-op in 1967. In 1974 the saxophonist left to form the Willem Breuker Kollektief, longtime flagship of Dutch improvised music. Mengelberg (and Bennink) founded the raggedy ICP Tentet (including German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, and sometimes cellist Tristan Honsinger). That band matured into something very like the present-day ICP Orchestra in the 1980s, with the addition of younger players, some of whom have been there ever since: trombonist Wolter Wierbos, saxophonists/clarinetists Michael Moore and Ab Baars, and bassist Ernst Glerum. When they were new to the orchestra, Misha rehearsed the players in various performance strategies—such as the uses of his “viruses,” self-contained packets of notated material a player could cue into any composition to infect or disable it. The musicians learned how to deal with fellow players’ quirks of timing or intonation, how to confound their colleagues before their colleagues could confound them, how to bend or subvert the music in performance, and run little subroutines within a piece.



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