It's been too hot here for the last week and a half in St. Louis to spend much time outside physically, so today we've got some videos for you that go outside in a musical sense. This sampling of live performance clips from area musicians whose work might be called experimental, free-form, or avant garde includes:
* Electronic musician Eric Hall, seen up above in a solo set recorded at Washington University's Steinberg Auditorium in December 2010;
* Flute player and composer Fred Tompkins and keyboardist/composer Jim Hegarty, seen in the first clip down below joining forces to perform Tompkins' piece "My Changes." The performance, recorded in January 2011 at the St. Charles Coffee House, starts with what Tompkins calls "certain points of reference - tonalities, a general idea of style and overall form" while leaving the exact note choices and length of each section open;
* An excerpt from one of the "Drum Line" concerts presented in 2011 by the Nu-Art Series, featuring drummers Charles "Bobo" Shaw, Gary Sykes, Jerome "Scrooge" Harris and Johnny Johnson;
* More improv from the Off-Topic Collective, a project that included Hegarty, bassist Willem von Hombracht, percussionist Henry Claude, and saxophonist Dave Stone. The clip was shot in February 2009 at the Kranzberg Arts Center;
* And finally, yet another live improv featuring Stone and friends (the clip is too dark to identify most of the players) recorded last August at El Leñador.
Obligatory disclaimer: Due to the nature of free improvisation, what you see in these clips may or may not resemble what any of these musicians may do on their next live gig. Also, the players seen here certainly aren't the only people in town doing this sort of thing. Think of this post as being merely a representative sample of some names to watch for...