Thursday, December 6, 2007

improvisation ...

apophysics + space / time model + vibration frequency + chakras + color frequency ...

dictionary definitions:
makeshift, ad lib, extemporaneous ...
inaccurate ...

what is improv ... ‘other’ dialogues ...

familiarity with the idiom, environment, instrument, materials, audience, spirituality, knowledge, the current, the past, the present, insight, experience, and a list of vagaries too innumerable to mention ...

for most of my life, i’ve enjoyed improvisational music
as long as it remained dynamic -
first with the sounds of flamenco virtuosity,
later with extended rock solos,
happenings, jazz, and conceptual performances -
i’ve also enjoyed the ‘out-takes’ of audio recordings, video, and film -
stuff that ends up on the cutting room floor ...
it shows process and intent -
the artists’ ability to finesse, sculpt, or form a concept -
choices - what to show and what not to ...
and at times, with live music and ‘good’ painting,
the consciousness elevating impact of
the right tones, colors, vibrations, and energy -
[something so natural and ineffable]
proves that the difference between before and after
the experience is profoundly recognizable ...

some insights into ‘improvisation’
became known to me through an accumulation of experiences
marked by two distinct events:
one was an all night, ‘holy’, zuni tribal celebration
at their pueblo in new mexico
at the beginning of the winter solstice;
the other at an intimate cecil taylor performance
at lehigh university in pennsylvania ...

both began with quiet voice chants
or humming or tonal navigating
until it seemed that a certain vibration was located -
in both cases, the pitch became the operational frequency -
the clear channel or line of communication
to whatever recipient the host was looking for ...
once the appointed ‘leader’ found the appropriate tonality [mantra],
they invited others to find their appropriate ‘voice’, harmony, and rhythm ...
it started slowly - searching -
gradually building the search
and suitable ‘vehicle’ for a journey;
with the zuni, it took more than an hour -
with taylor, perhaps twenty minutes -
but the tapestries of sound, playful experimentation,
dissonance, and rhythmic patterning
was mesmerizing - trance like and meditative ...
this transition seemed like a necessary exercise
toward losing ‘self’ consciousness -
a period of transcending
toward something beyond conventional codes ...
if a flow, stream, or ‘collective consciousness’ exists,
this is the interval where the artist skirts the banks
on their way to their place in the current ...
once found, maintenance of the ‘vehicle’
[ state of consciousness ]
becomes an intuitive focus
while participants develop dialogue ...
this is where skill, experience, virtuosity, and eloquence
become necessary tools for effective / meaningful contributions
to the energy, prayer, or interchange ...
the concentration required;
both physical and mental
[alpha, beta, theta,delta],
to sustain this level of involvement
is simultaneously exhausting and rejuvenating,
and stamina seems dependent upon familiarity with the idiom ...
the zuni ritual lasted twelve hours
accompanied by scores of replacements sustaining their intensity ...
taylor’s concert was a condensed,
focused exhibit of energy, mastery, and commitment
to a form that speaks to intuition - extrasensory - liminal ...

the endings were quite different ...
taylor, gently found passage from a journey -
back to the real world ...
whereas the zuni,
after twelve hours of gradual crescendo,
frenetic dancing, chanting, and drumming -
stopped abruptly -
the moment the sun appeared
above their sacred mountain ...
everyone departed, dissipated, quietly ...
left in the middle of a desert
at a new time, new day,
and a new beginning;
with the experience
that there is something
much bigger than all of us,
through appropriate mediums ...