Friday, September 23, 2011
Strength Through Clarity
Thinking about beginnings in relationship to improvisation. A clear strong musical statement is as vital to moving an improvisation along as the beginning of a composed piece of music. Tonight I focused on generating clarity in my beginnings. The first improv began with staccato notes in A major ending with a staccato fourth chord. Variations on this ensued. After turning off the tape for this first effort, I found a compelling opening in D minorish. Pushing record I was off, having fun, varying the tempo and dynamics and dropping in the occasional surprise. Noticing that I was arriving at en ending, I found a satisfying end around 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
Loud short bass notes alternating with loud staccato high notes found me delighting in the next twist and turn. Before long this felt as if I might be getting too many ideas that was sacrificing a sense of unity. At some point I stopped. Returning to my question from last week - What does mystery sound like? I began exploring dyads, allowing space and tension. I was engaged and following where I was pointed. Again I found myself where perhaps too much was being put out there, but I'm not sure. One day I may listen to all of these efforts, but the important aspect of this evening was to focus on the beginning. With these clear strong beginnings, I found the process of improvisation to be stronger and better focused.
Returning to the guitar for 6 or 7 more improvisations, I realize now that there was very little judgement of my work tonight while in the act of playing. Accepting what was coming out as the notes played. This is a definite quality that is vital for me to cultivate. I recognized the end of one 'piece' because of the sense of silence that was enveloping the music. One very sweet moment for me. All in all a good nights work.