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A Podcast That Deconstructs the Story Inside of the Music

Rebecca Cullen, reviewer

Improvisations on The Ledge is a must for musicians, composers, music fans, artists, and indeed anyone with an interest in and appreciation for organic music and creative expression in their purest forms.”

Rebecca Cullen
Stereo Stickman

IOTL is a kind of performance art. In each episode, Saltzman tackles a particular subject—a genre, music trends, problems creative musicians face—and the riffs on it with both words and improvised piano music.

Peter draws on his extensive background and knowledge in multiple genres: jazz, classical, pop, and more. But IOTL is not a lecture; it’s a creative deep dive into the soul of music.

Improvisations on the Ledge is not just about music. It is music.

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Episodes:

S3-E4: Themes Alive—Musical Structure from One Note!

S3-E4: Themes Alive—Musical Structure from One Note!

The moment a theme is stated, it wants to do something. What? Like all lifeforms, it wants to replicate, mutate, transform…become something. That something is musical structure. How we get from a single note to a theme (motif), to a full-blown musical structure (song,...

IOTL S3-E3: The Theme Dream Machine

IOTL S3-E3: The Theme Dream Machine

Three Sides of A Musical Coin In this highly accessible solo piano program, I creatively blend three musical traditions—classical, jazz, and pop—into one. Combining my own compositions and well-known works by composers like J.S. Bach, John Coltrane, and John Lennon...

IOTL S3-E2: The Many Layers of Musical Memory—and Forgetting

IOTL S3-E2: The Many Layers of Musical Memory—and Forgetting

Summary  An episode about how listening to music, and performing it, are really acts of thematic memory—and forgetting. And sometimes the forgetting is part of the creative process. Or maybe it's just forgetting. In any case, I take a deep dive into the many layers of...

IOTL S3-E1: Theme is the Theme

IOTL S3-E1: Theme is the Theme

Summary: After an extended layoff, I've decided to get back to Improvisations On the Ledge by sticking to the theme—literally. The entire season—including this episode—is devoted to musical theme: how we create, perceive it, and make music out of it. Show Notes After...

IOTL S2-E8: Rearview Mirror

IOTL S2-E8: Rearview Mirror

Using jazz educator David Bloom’s metaphor, musicians need to look in the rearview mirror and remember the theme if they wish to move forward. But when you look back, you are not just remembering what you played at the beginning of an improvisation—you’re remembering all of that music that got you to the point of even being able to look back in the first place.

IOTL S2-E7: Planned Chance

IOTL S2-E7: Planned Chance

My plan was to dive into Part 2 of my “End of Melody Episode,“ but by chance, I rolled the dice and came up with something completely different. Unplanned, but fated to be this way? Possibly.

IOTL S2-E4: Maximal Minimalism: Me v. Philip Glass

IOTL S2-E4: Maximal Minimalism: Me v. Philip Glass

In this episode, I do battle with Philip Glass and, by extension, the entire genre of minimalism. To my surprise, though, I found that even while I reject the aesthetic as a whole, there’s plenty I can take from it creatively—but only by adapting some of its techniques in ways never intended by its practitioners.

IOTL S2-E3: Everything is Related To Everything Else (Again)

IOTL S2-E3: Everything is Related To Everything Else (Again)

If you’ve been composing and/or improvising for long enough, you will no doubt encounter the inescapable reality that you can’t create music in a vacuum, that every phrase you write/play is somehow connected to what someone else (or you) created in the past. In this episode, I explore how, like it or not, those connections randomly occur—and what you creatively do with them.

IOTL S2-E2: The Seinfeld Episode

IOTL S2-E2: The Seinfeld Episode

I was watching Jerry Seinfeld’s new standup release on Netflix the other night and it put me in the mind of nothing. Or how we build music out of essentially meaningless sound events that end up adding up to…something?

IOTL S2-E1: CoVideous Improvisations on Covert Thoughts

IOTL S2-E1: CoVideous Improvisations on Covert Thoughts

Season Two is finally here but it’s not at all was I was planning. Befitting the title of the podcast, Improvisations on the Ledge, in fact, resists any serious planning. And yet, for this premiere episode of season two, I can’t avoid the elephant in the world-sized room: CoVid-19. The central theme of this episode, then, is how the crisis changes the way we go about making art—if at all.