Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Recording Improvisations

I had an email earlier today from a new friend at the University of Iowa regarding recording improvisations and then discussing them. This is a great thing to do--if you are a teacher running an improv class, for a group to do themselves, and to do with your own solo improvisations. You can then reflect on the process, and also assess the improvisation as a piece. I just watched the video of my solo portion of Sunday night's improvisation concert at the University of Iowa. I loved the experience of playing it. Watching the tape, there is much I like, and much I've learned in terms of what I might do next time. I'll be posting the video on YouTube as soon as I learn how to get it there.

The important thing with recording and listening/assessing is to do it as a way of increasing awareness, not to find fault with and invalidate what you did (and yourself along with it). That's what I have to watch out for--my tendency to seize on a fault (real or imagined) and then use it to beat myself up with.

So it's important, I've learned, to approach this with self-acceptance. What did you like? What different choices might you make next time? And if you think it sucked, and it did, so what? Do another one!

1 comment:

Larry said...

There are two things at play in an improvisation: the process and the result. Sometimes the improvising of the piece can be a struggle (a difficult PROCESS), but the music (the RESULT) can be quite satisfying. A lot of times when we think we played badly, what we should say is that we had a hard time with the process, because the result -- the music heard -- might be quite good. Listening back to our performance gives us a chance to evaluate the music divorced from the strain we might have felt on stage when we were playing.

Or as a colleague of mine once said, sometimes the sound of struggling can be very interesting to an audience!