Neon Egypt - Unusual Improvised Intuitive Jazz and World Fusion Music, with Haiku Poetry and audiophile downloads




Neon Egypt - Unusual Improvised Intuitive Jazz and World Fusion Music, with Haiku Poetry and audiophile downloads

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Intuitive Music

The term intuitive music originated with electronic and experimental music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen, and popularly dates from a 1971 presentation made at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.  Stockhausen was describing a process he was exploring whereby the participating musicians aimed to set aside the strictures of accepted musical form, style and compositional rules, and, for better or worse, to remove all internal and external impediments to experiencing purely inspired, "intuitive" musical expression, wherever that might lead.

Neon Egypt saxophonist Harrison Goldberg in Performance; Background: oil on canvas by Basil Dean"There are certain abilities required now in order to play this sort of music that I call intuitive music," he explained. "Musicians must learn to become the opposite of egocentric...  When you become like what I call a radio receiver, you are no longer satisfied with expressing yourself; you are not interested in yourself at all.  You will be amazed at what happens to you when this state is achieved; you become a medium."

Thus intuitive music in Stockhausen's original sense does not admit of any historical musical precedents, and therefore cannot observe any rules of composition or classifications of style, or in fact any rules at all.  Purity of inspired musical expression constitutes its sole aim.

Stockhausen's ideas were revolutionary in the west, and were at first only temperately received, even among his progressively minded audience.   However the principles expressed have since taken firm root within the progressive music community at large, and continue to spawn and support ongoing experiments and active offshoots today.

By the 1990's, new expressions of this work began to emerge that embraced the insights and "intuitive listening" abilities gained through the exercise of Stockhausen's principles, and naturally incorporated them to infuse existing structured musical forms with new life.  Neon Egypt's music could be said to constitute one such expression.


From the musicians' standpoint, music that is intuitively produced, and also one's view and experience of that process, tend to become unavoidably melded to some degree with the character of one's previous musical experiences and training.  Nevertheless, intuitive music-making is above all a perpetual frontier, and accordingly Neon Egypt's working descriptions of our music and creative process remain flexible.  That said however, there are several clearly discernable characteristics of intuitive play that seem to universally manifest, and that define our shared personal experience of creating music in this way:

Harrison Goldberg in the studio

  • Immediacy - Intuitive music is very much a present moment activity.  Even when expressing silence, there is continuous, uninterrupted musical presence.

  • Spontaneity - in the pure sense.  Not the absence of discipline, but the determined, moment-by-moment absence of planning.

  • Inspiration - The sense that the musical information being expressed is arriving from a source other than (often higher than) oneself.

  • Abandonment of Thinking - The foil of inspiration, thinking tends to produce mechanical results, largely by calling upon memory and prior conditioning.

  • "Musicalness" - Intuitive music is music, implying artistic intention and coordination, both aspects of consciousness.  It is not random or aleatory (chance) sound, as can be generated using mathematical formulae, or by mechanical techniques such as isolating individual players.  Allowing for differing musical tastes then, intuitive music is generally found to be listenable, even pleasing, to humans.

  • Non-repeatability - If a piece can be played over again, it must have an existence in thought and memory, apart from intuition.  Intuitive music is always fresh.

  • Threshold Experience - Intuitive musicians act at the interface where the unmanifest becomes the manifest.  (More on this in a future article - please check back.)

For additional perspective, read Questions and Answers on Intuitive Music from K. Stockhausen's 1971 London lecture.

Also see the page on Neon Egypt's precursor group, Tabula Rasa, for additional notes on the intuitive play process.


"The purpose of your life on earth is to learn how to yield your mind to the spirit of eternity."

- Spiritual author Vernon Howard

Other Interesting Sources:

Home Page for Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany)

Music by Marcus Stockhausen (Denmark)

Ian Bederman's Intuitive Music Orchestra (Russia)
(site text in Russian can be machine translated using Babelfish)
Secondary Australian site with some English text:

Jarek Czechowicz, Peace Music (Australia)
(has an excellent article on intuitive music)

The Intuitive Music Home Page (Denmark)
by Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen

Cloudfire - Music In The Moment

Additional resources may be found through a web search for "Intuitive Music".