Soundpainting…What’s that?

Our upcoming April 27th concert JAM: Improvisation, Chance, and Storytelling features local soundpainter Evan Mazunik…So what in the world is soundpainting?

Briefly, soundpainting is a form of improvisation or on-the-spot composition where a soundpainter – a person who simultaneously functions as a conductor and a composer – communicates with a group of musicians through a series of gestures. The art form was devised in 1974 by Walter Thompson in Woodstock, New York, and it continues in the hands of many certified soundpainters today, including our distinguished collaborator Evan Mazunik.

The soundpainter might ask the musicians to play a high tone or a low tone, a sustained tone or a series of short attacks, to enter slowly or to enter abruptly. He or she might ask one or two of the musicians to loop a chunk of musical material, while the rest of the group plays something else. The soundpainter and the musicians must listen to one another and make on-the-spot decisions based on the auditory and visual information they receive.

For more information about this remarkable art form, visit: