I’ve been thinking a good bit over the years about what i’ve learned, to this point, about communication through improvising with others musically. To be truthful, this does not only exist in improvisation focused music. but as well within orchestras, and symphonies playing highly arranged and structured music. In other words, anything I will say here regarding improvising can be applied in it’s own way to heavily orchestrated music and what it takes to be part of an orchestra, symphony, or what have you….
When it really works, that is improvising with others, it works because there is a collective sense that you are all there to be space makers. You’re all looking out for each other, looking for each other’s voices to be incorporated into the sound. So, there is a willingness to forgo an idea of your own, in order to join onto and enhance the idea of another; you become given over to the music and you appreciate the role you “fell” into.
It really is about connecting, and a good verbal conversation is about connecting as well. Often, we call it “being on the same page,” and there are so many other metophorical terms for it. When there is a genuine striving to understand another to the best of one’s ability there is a great joy when you actually get there
So too when playing music with others, there is nothing like creating something with a group of people, all making a compromise, all striving to listen and include each other in the process.
Below are some great videos of wonderful improvisers and group dynamics, hope you enjoy the music! Much Bobby Mcferrin in this mix, what a beautiful improviser and person!