Need a gift for a gifted musician?
A Temple Of Improvisation-
Any Free thinking player has developed from hard work and hard thought, a personal conception. Whether we're improvising intensely onstage or in the studio, it is only after much thought, practice, and theory have gone into that conception, and it is that conception which makes us different from all other musicians. Which means once we know what we are doing and learn to fly we can explore and let our selves go find areas of music through improvisation we didn't know existed.
A Free Improvisation, therefore, is based on a paradox - that a player is so well prepared that he can fly through instinct, reflex and sheer musical bravery into the musical unknown.
~/~ Music`s not a competition between players, it`s a competition against our inner limits.
We all have to make our own way in our own way.
When you put your heart into something it`s impossible then to fail.
~ I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. ”
~ Henry David Thoreau
~><~ Some have called free improvisation "The imagination unleashed through the impulse". Impulse here implies the immediate influence of both somatic and emotional feelings and mental states that emerge from the unconscious. Impulse can also be seen as the moment of surge when actions draw upon available cognitive, affective, and material resources (sound and rhythm) to create an effect. Impulse in free jazz is a "non-idiomatic" structure, implying that there is no specific form followed. This style of playing is open and non-structured and calls for entering into unfamiliar territory without reservation. It's in this way we learn to be separate and communal, to withdraw and embrace at the same time.
Improvising in this attentional way creates a community of true equality and equanimity in which the contributions of all are recognized, valued, and used in the process of creation. "For as long as the music lasts, the players are completely dependent on listening to and trying to understand each other in service of a creative goal beyond their own personal desires"
"All musicians stimulate each other. The vibrations get scattered around "
“The music is within your heart, your soul, your spirit. It's not really in some intellectual realm in your brain. And this is all I do when I sit at the piano, I just go within.”
~ Alice Coltrane
"play what you know and then play above that" -Miles Davis
"When I could play what I heard inside me. That's when I was born"
“The theme you play at the start of the number is the territory,” Ornette Coleman said, “and what comes after, which may have very little to do with it, is the adventure
"I start in the middle of a sentence & move both directions at once."
“I never even thought about whether or not they understand what I'm doing . . . the emotional reaction is all that matters as long as there's some feeling of communication, it isn't necessary that it be understood.”
"When you are creating your own shit, man, even the sky ain't the limit."
Elvin Jones- When asked how he and Coltrane’s group managed to play together with such intensity.
"You’ve got to want to die for the motherf**ker!”
“Over all, I think the main thing a musician would like to do is give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things that he knows of and senses in the universe. . . That’s what I would like to do. I think that’s one of the greatest things you can do in life and we all try to do it in some way. The musician’s is through his music.”
My fate cannot be mastered; it can only be collaborated with and thereby, to some extent, directed. Nor am I the captain of my soul; I am only its noisiest passenger.
~ Aldous Huxley
Remember, do something-- If it doesn't work, do something else. No idea is too crazy