Ghost Improvisation is a conceptual approach that provokes new forms of improvisation - a group of selected improvisers are individually sent a set of audio files which they are to record themselves improvising to, alone in a room without another musician. These files are the "ghost" tracks which are removed from the final mix, leaving only the recordings of the improvisors playing together, communicating unintentionally through the same tracks even if they have never played or previously heard the improvisations of the other musicians. The risks of having disruptive musical interplay are heavily present, but the results in this session had been unnaturally successful and rewarding, with moments of unpremeditated and serendipitous interactions that would have never taken place if these improvisors had been listening to one another. This process in turn eliminates all opportunities of improvisational clichés, forces new forms of musical communication, and creates reflection on new ways of improvisation.

Though Mirror Shards (Joe Formanek) has been developing and exercising the approach of Ghost Improvisation for more than 5 years now, these five pieces are part of the first attempt to create a new database of improvisors. In this session, Joe is only on acoustic drumset, being one of his most instrumental projects to date. Three like-minded improvisors hailing from three different countries were invited to participate: Herve Perez (saxophone and shakuhachi) from Sheffield, England; Camille-Alban Spreng (piano) from Brussels, Belgium; and Akito Van Troyer (drones) from Cambridge, USA. These three have never met in person, yet their musical esthetics align and unconsciously compliment each other in their unprecedented interplay.

released January 15, 2017
Joe Formanek (Mirror Shards) on drumset
Herve Perez on saxophone
Camille-Alban Spreng on piano
Akito Van Troyer on drones
Drumset recording by Matthieu Lits
Mixing and mastering by Joe Formanek
Album art by Joe Formanek