Friday, April 27, 2007

comments and responses

Just got back from outta town (a trip that, as always, was a learning experience) and I find the comments have been pretty active…. Thanks to all for the feedback, and apologies for not responding sooner.

On ‘training (the) quartet pt 2: network topologies’ both Devin Hurd and Daniel Melnick address the question of whether the results of these exercises are ever ‘musical’. Devin points out that ‘pre-determined intent’ can ‘open up a range of composed improvisations/interactions’ (a line of reasoning that, perhaps, informs the composer-improviser practices of, say, the AACM). The effort required to make these exercises musical, I think, makes it training for the stage; for when you may be called upon to make-the-best of a less-than-optimal situation. A tactic that might be applicable to all improvisations, and maybe to all performances (perhaps to life in general).
Dan makes many of the same observations, but adds a note of caution that treating these exercises “as a systemic ideal” can lead to problems. I think this has to do with the purpose of engineering such ‘constraints’. The hazards that Dan sketches out are very real: it’s all too easy to turn such strategies into a “Demonstrations of Limits”.
Yet, on the other hand, responding to ‘practicing: the journey (and the destination)’ Herr Adorno (mediated by sjz) makes a cameo appearance to apparently plead for a more ‘abstract’ or ‘free-floating’ sense of ‘musicality’ (of material and approach).

Not sure, however, what to make of the statement of skepticism (other than to say, well, try it and see for yourself)….

Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts, and thanks for reading.

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