Catching Up with Victor Haskins – FONT ’14 Alumni

victor H @ FONT14
Victor Haskins performing ImproviStory at IBeam, 2014 FONT Music Festival

Victor Haskins, was a featured artist at last year’s FONT Music Festival where he presented his unique musical concept “ImproviStory” at IBeam. Last November, Victor brought his concept to a larger platform as he introduced it on a Tedx Talk at Virginia Commonwealth University.  The video was just released last week, which we have posted below. A year after his performance we asked Victor to catch us up with ImproviStory and what he’s up to currently.

A Note from Victor:
“Currently, I am working on getting ImproviStory in front of different audiences, especially in the context of education for kids.  In addition, I have been writing music for and developing new concepts for my band, formerly the Victor Haskins Trio, which is now called Victor Haskins’ Skein.  We will have our first performance in a long time at the Richmond Jazz Festival on August 9, which works out to be a big bang of a return to performing.  And besides music, I am now also a salsa dance instructor–I started dancing salsa in December of 2014 and I fell in love with it. It’s been and continues to be an awesome addition to my life!

ImproviStorVictor press shoty is a new genre of music I created which combines improvisation, audience interaction, and storytelling to generate unique musical experiences.  It is a concept that I developed as a result of trying to find a way to connect with audiences in an improvisational setting where nobody needed to “understand” anything about music to appreciate and relate to what was being played.  Instead, those present during the performance use their imaginations to access and control the direction of the where the music goes and what it means, thus involving the audience in a deeper way than they would normally be involved with a musical exhibition.

Because of this universal connectivity and engagement capability, I figured that this idea would be even more valuable as an educational tool to encourage people—specifically kids—to think more creatively (counter to what the U.S. school system typically promotes—cramming info to take a test).  So for the last 8 months or so, I have been doing ImproviStory in educational settings for kids in school.  This has greatly expanded the possibilities of the applications of my concept in ways that can only have been discovered through live practice of ImproviStory for a variety of real audiences in different situations.  There are some exciting things on the horizon for this new music, so to stay abreast of where it goes next.”

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Victor speaking at Tedx Talk – Virginia Commonwealth University (November 2014):