The jazz educator David Baker had this to say about jazz improvisation:

You start out learning scales; modes; whole songs. You   play along with your favourite records. Then you start breaking it down to pieces—licks, long bits of solos. Gradually as you get more and more mastery of your instrument and over yourself, your control becomes more and more atomic. At the level of full mastery you are feeling, and choosing, every note, every rest. Eventually it’s every fraction of a note, or fraction of a rest, that you’re playing. Actively.

You also want to extend your range. Your body has a wide range of expression at your command. It’s not just your instrument that can make sound. Clomps, stomps, screams, claps, yelps, lip trills, Brooklyn raspberries, exhaling, inhaling, crying out—all of these are tools at your disposal. You also want to become comfortable in every range of your instrument—even very very high, and very very low, have a purpose that in expressing some emotion you may want to utilise.

The bolded part especially rings true for me much more broadly than in music performance. Free will, I feel, can be exercised to varying degrees. If I check my email in the morning, go on Facebook, check my twitter notifications, whatever, I’m yielding up my free will. I’m passively responding to things that I put in front of myself. On better days, or at least the days when I assert more atomic control over my time and choices, I actively spend time in the moment and/or ask myself what I really want to be doing, rather than rolling the wheels through the ruts of habit or letting stimuli lead me to respond.

For me the question of free will isn’t about yes/no deductions—it’s about how much, today?

50 notes

  1. saxykitten reblogged this from kerrnie
  2. oudeis68 reblogged this from kerrnie
  3. kerrnie reblogged this from isomorphismes
  4. thievess reblogged this from isomorphismes
  5. steveblackimages reblogged this from isomorphismes
  6. wearethehushedmusic reblogged this from isomorphismes
  7. twilightinsanity reblogged this from isomorphismes and added:
    // //
  8. chadsor reblogged this from isomorphismes
  9. fulgore-vox reblogged this from isomorphismes
  10. onthewingsofasloth reblogged this from isomorphismes
  11. lizzovator reblogged this from isomorphismes
  12. ksdwong reblogged this from isomorphismes
  13. a-bittersweet-blessing reblogged this from isomorphismes
  14. cyclicalprocesses reblogged this from isomorphismes
  15. marbleflakes reblogged this from isomorphismes
  16. andhestillchooseswar reblogged this from isomorphismes
  17. extremely-generic-url reblogged this from isomorphismes
  18. isomorphismes posted this