Butch Morris

In reverence and acknowledgement of Butch Morris, the man who invented Conduction – the art of conducting improvisation (1947-2013).

“free improvisation … is a deeply misleading term, for any improviser worth his or her salt is continually concerned with structure, while recognizing that structure might be a mutable concept”. 

After freedom, what? How can one translate the euphoric intensity of total improvisation to other contexts and other cultures? How can one remain dedicated to improvisation’s ethos without being trapped by it? Butch Morris proposed a provocative answer: reintroducing the conductor, the ultimate figure of Western classical hierarchy, as a means to organize improvised sound.

Over his lifetime, Morris led over five thousand musicians into his sound world. For all of them, it was surely memorable; for many, it was transformative.