Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Free Improvisation is dead! Long live Free Improvisation!

I think free improvisation is the best thing to call what I play, practice, and teach - has been my website for over 10 years.  To me, free improvisation simply means that I am free at any moment to play whatever and however I want.   

I know free improvisation is really, really fun - both for the people improvising the music, and the people improvising the audience.  I truly believe it's something that everyone does and intuitively understands.  But unfortunately, to the general public the phrase has come to basically mean "deliberately unpleasant sounding and/or boring music".  

I want to invite you to join me in reclaiming free improvisation, in re-branding it, so that when people hear the phrase they assume the music and the event surrounding it will be interesting, intriguing, beautiful, fun, enjoyable, stimulating - name your positive adjective!  To that end, I will continue to:

Create events that are beautiful and special, even if that means using more resources on less events throughout the year.

Give my audience the respect they deserve, as fellow improvisers of the event.  Pay attention to them, and perform in a way that invites them to understand and love what I am doing.  

Make music that goes beyond the traditional boundaries of free improvisation as a genre - music that embraces more musical and improvisational possibilities.

Communicate with improvisers from other mediums, learn from each other, and share audiences.

Take improvisation to schools, businesses, and communities, to give everyone an opportunity to appreciate and experience how, as my favorite quote by Mr. Rogers so simply and profoundly says:

"It just feels good to be alive, when you're playing and making up things".