R1: Reading Responses

in Towards an Ethic Of Improvisation, the most interesting point I found in this article is, “ From a certain point of view improvisation is the highest mode of musical activity, for it is based on the acceptance of music’s fatal weakness and essential and most beautiful characteristic – its transience.’’ This poetic explanation shows how Improvised music focuses on the exact moment where performers and audiences create a certain relationship that transferred into a certain composition which only meaningful for that exact moment. Just as Cardew said, “ informal ’sound’ has a power over our emotion.” Improvised music requires performers, audiences, a certain space and a certain time. Unlike other classical musics that can exist timeless, the fact that improvised music is limited within a certain time triggers stronger emotional responses.

Improvised Music after 1950: Afrological  and Eurological Perspectives by George E Lewis talked about improvised music through compares and contrast improvisation from two perspectives. I think the most exciting part for me is when Lewis talks about Freedom and Personality within Afrological and Eurological improvised music. Due to the cultural differences rooted in Eurological and Afrological improvised music, the meaning of Freedom within the context of improvisation appeared different. Eurological improvised music tends to achieve “free” through “controlled” or “structured” manner. Like John Cage, his performances, though indeterminate, do guide by goals and rules. Sometimes this rules concerns not only what to play but what to think. Afrological improvised music tends to be more intuitive and carries more personal narrative characteristics. I do think how to define freedom within improvisation is an interesting topic. Even though I agree that freedom occurs within a certain regulation, I feel like improvised music should free the performer’s spirit from any regulation within that time and space.

“Quantum Improvisation: The Cybemetic Presence 11” by Pauline Oliveros

In the article Quantum Improvisation: The Cybemetic Presence 11,  Oliveros states that improvisation is about creating new possibilities of dialogue and new relationships. With the assist of technologies, “ new inter dimensional spatiality could be introduced.”

Quantum improvisation refers to the ability to perform in more than one mental state simultaneously in order to reach or bridge past and future as an expanding present. Quantum improvisation could fund new ways to express and understand the relationships between mind and matter. I like how she ties improvised music with creative problem-solving. Since improvised music performances sometimes occur in group, it requires thinking in more than one state simultaneously. Therefore, Oliveros believes that this could take the advantage of computational technologies but of course with intelligence.

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