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For years I’ve had this thought that I should be able to improvise a full 4-movement piano sonata. Is this just another example of me being completely out of touch with my times? Well yes. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work.

As I mentioned in episode 22 (“Improvising Classical Music: Is That a Thing?”), I’ve long been fascinated by the improvisational wizardry of great composers like Bach and Beethoven. I also spoke about how their approaches to improvisation (though, of course, we have no direct evidence) inspired me in my own approach to improvisation.

What I didn’t mention in that episode was that somewhere along the line, I decided that I should be able to improvise a full four-movement piano sonata like my hero, Beethoven. Crazy? Yes. Misguided? Absolutely!

But crazy and misguided ideas can lead to something beautiful and cool. So with that in mind, I am launching the “Improvised Sonata Project” right here on Improvisations on the Ledge. I’ll release the actual improvised sonatas every so often in streaming digital music platforms. In the meantime, episode 26 is the first effort in this project and includes some background why I’m doing it, what a sonata even is, and why the form can still be relevant today.


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