Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween: A Group Improvisation

When I got invited to play with Club d’Elf, one of my favorite bands, for a Halloween gig this Friday, I noticed I was extra excited about it, and it got me to wondering...

Even though Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and nothing is more fun than playing a Halloween show, it didn’t really seem to completely explain my excitement.  And why do I love Halloween so much, anyways?

Then it hit me.  Halloween is the biggest and most creative group improvisation that our culture allows!  Halloween creates an improvisatory structure that allows everyone to play together, improvising being anything they want.  Group improv on a grand scale!  It seems so obvious I’m surprised I never thought of it that way before (must be the influence of ImprovLive 365).  

But I guess that’s true of every holiday.  Holidays give people an improvisatory structure that enables them to create large scale group improvisations around certain culturally important ideas.  Whether you resonate to Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Years, (etc) or not, you gotta admit that’s a very cool idea.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

ImprovLive 365: Finding Connection Through Creativity

Besides my belief in the usefulness of improvisation in all the arts and in our daily lives (which I’ve talked about a lot in this blog), I’ve become more and more convinced that one of the most important ways that we connect as fellow humans, no matter where we live or what we are doing, is through improvisation and spontaneous creativity.
I know a lot of times musicians and artists, (especially those who work on the fringes of popular culture) feel like we are isolated on our own little islands of creativity.  I know a lot of times people who don’t self identify as artists feel disconnected from the idea of themselves as spontaneous creators.  I know there are lots and lots of people out there who love creating and making stuff up, and do it all the time, in all kinds of different ways.
But the truth is, despite all of our differences, despite what we do or how we think of ourselves, we are all connected by our need to spontaneously create our human culture and our lives together on this planet, every day, in every thing we do.  This is an individual creation, but it is also a group improvisation.  Becoming better at improvising, at spontaneously creating solutions to the challenges life gives us, enriches and enhances both our individual lives and our society as a whole.  
I believe this so strongly that I’ve decided to spend the next year of my life producing ImprovLive 365, a daily web series dedicated to exploring, documenting and sharing the spontaneous creativity of life.  It’s about all of us, and how we use improvisation and spontaneous creativity in our lives. It’s a way to connect the dots and see how we are all in this grand improvisation together.

I’ve created an IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign to raise some funds and help get ImprovLive 365 off the ground. So please, check out my IndieGoGo page, and help me spread the word about this exciting new project!  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Coming Soon - ImprovLive 365

I loving making up and playing melodies, but I only write them down if I really have to.  I love figuring out stuff about creativity and improvisation, and sharing it, but I'm not that crazy about writing that down either.  I only do it, because that's a way to share it with all of you.

I guess that's part of why I'm an improviser.   What really gets me going is real-time interaction - sharing and creating and understanding things with other people.

So I'm really excited about my new project, ImprovLive 365, a daily web series dedicated to exploring, documenting and sharing the spontaneous creativity of life.  This is just a teaser, to let you know I'm working on it, and you're going to hear all about it soon!