Saturday, January 13, 2007

2007: improvising guitar new year’s resolution

Well, it’s nice to finally be back here. I would have returned sooner except for having to finish off that ‘real’ writing task, and then having to fish for funding (I don't expect anyone became a musician because of their love of bureaucracy and red tape). Anyway, I’m much better now, so let me gently break into 2007 with not, I think you’ll be glad to hear, another list, but a proposed outline of what I’ll be writing about….

Okay, as far as pedagogical topics go, I’ll continue with the studies in playing in position (with, despite my reservations, an excursion into talking about posture), with the eventual goal of returning to natural harmonics (which was really the exciting stuff), and then clusters.
In addition, I want to open a thread on group improvisation. Specifically, I’ll start with a set of schemes for quartet. These schemes hover somewhere between exercises, training and tactics. Nothing particularly original or earth shattering, but I have found these schemes useful, and they bring up, for me, problems of conceiving interactions and issues of pedagogy.
On the flip side, I will continue to discuss (or at least try and find out how to discuss) solo improvisation. (I say “on the flip side”, but of course that’s a false dichotomy.)
Back on sociological ground, I want to tackle in more detail the idea that improvisation is ‘society-in-miniature’. Topics that I hope to address are utopias and the distinctions between the micro-social and the macro-social. I got into a bit of a twist in regards to ‘diplomacy’, and I hope Peter, sjz and others will continue to keep me on my toes, and prevent me from making broad generalizations.
I also want to flesh out the subject of the body. Recently, MLM, PE and myself, among others, have got ourselves into rhetorical funk trying to talk about bodies in the context of music and performance. It’s tricky to avoid that neo-Cartesian impulse (our language conspires to reinstate that distinction and that hierarchy), but bodies, as Butler might say, surely do matter.

I’m sure more stuff will present itself as the year ambles on (I hesitate to say ‘progresses’), but as a starting point, these suit me fine… for the moment (and that’s the important thing).

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