DIMC Conference Discussion 2009
Present: Carl Bergstroem-Nielsen, Henrik Ehland Rasmussn, Mette Stig Nielsen, Emily Doolittle, Regine Leonore Birkner, Norbert Zajac, Leopoldo Siano, Belinda cody, Jeanette Eeuwes, Helena Marchand.
RESONANCE(ALSO IN THE MIND OF THE MUSICIAN)
TRANSLATE FROM OPTICAL TO ACOUSTICAL
Carl (moderator): This time we collected keywords from you, and we have tried to take them together into two main lines of topics. There is one dealing with basic concepts in a holistic way it seems, such as the general importance of listening (Jeanette). This line could also include Haruhiko's mentioning of "resonance". Haruhiko also talks about a "crack of structure", breaking up previous structure, maybe out leading to new constructive ideas. Belinda mentioned the keyword "freedom" generally, and Corinna elaborated on it. She said she valued "reversibility", being able to change direction when the context demands it. More generally, she asks "how can we deal with habits". Maybe habits could include the way we use the visual side in performance or not (Regine)? In any case, I would like to pose you this general question now, how can we deal with habits?
Mette: it's important that you know they are habits, so as to have a distance
Emily: they may include how much I play, how much I remain silent. One could ask oneself the question, what happens if I do exactly the opposite...
Carl: how do I become aware of my habits?
Regine: maybe with exercises - maybe in reponding to someone else, in a dialogue
Belinda: you may notice, this I have done many times
Regine: You have to be careful about that which you are comfortable about
Corinna: the question is, does it fit the context. Sometimes I think, I will not do this now.
Regine: if it's hard to do it in another way it sure is a habit
Emily: it's good to be aware - habits are friends as well as enemies
Corinna: without habits we could not manage in our lives. But it is important to know whether you would like to this thing or not
Carl: solo work was a good challenge for me. After some time I can have the feeling I have used all the sounds I have, and then begins the interesting task of how to play on....
Mette: you have to develop new technique
Henrik: sometimes it's good to say, I know nothing...
Carl: could you mention some relevant experiences from this conference - we have played so much? On the first evening there was a free improvisation in my group which began with percussion sounds, and I went on with transferring this feeling to the subsequent playing, instead of letting it be an introduction to more "normal" playing.
Mette: it's nice to be provoked a lot instead of just sitting at home. I was pushed during the first evening.
Emily: random groups were good - the novelty of new people you did not choose yourself, that's provocation enough
Henrik: funny, music is very intimate and very technical at the same time
Norbert: with people I haven't played with before I may think, was that me?
Emily: if you perform for others you have to stay connected to the music
Haruhiko: in the first session many inspirations came to me
Corinna: communication was clear - all "pieces" had rules but we did not talk about them
Jeanette: In my workshop, I had experience with different movements signaling upbeat and downbeat and was very confused about how to make it work. Then I chose to do different exercises which made me very happy
Mette: it's a question also of motoric abilities
Carl: what is your strategy as an improvisor in the jungle of improvised music?
Belinda: there is no jungle but freedom, choices made. I feel it more like exploring
Regine: you have every possibility and that's the jungle
Corinna: often, the music itself makes the choice. If a motif develops, use it and do not go elsewhere
Mette: I experience being increasingly critical of myself, having to conduct activity in some direction
Belinda: energy and aesthetics is bigger than us
Emily: it's a combination of listening and we doing what we think the music needs
Regine: we have both possibilities, to go with the tendency, and to decide
Corinna: the question, should the piece end here or not poses the question, is this part of the piece or is it the ending
Haruhiko: I'm a free improvisor but not so free, also traditional Japanese musician and jazz musician. A good way is to put myself into a new context
Emily: oboe players secretly dream of playing more flexibly like hichiriki
Haruhiko: maybe you discover your habit through hichiriki
Helena: we lost a shared language. Everyone at this table has his or her own conception. Scientific and artistic communities have to have a shared language.
Emily: improvising now and 10 years later would be very different
Mette: most of us know very well Western contemporary music
Regine: I think our common language IS the music
Mette: but music is not a universal language
Henrik: we have values - we are not building walls against the world, cathedrals
Helena: for lay people, it is confusing
Regine: confusion may be why we do it (laughter)
Mette: for some of us the purpose is to develop performances as a musician, others are concerned about teaching, still others about their own process and personal development. We just accept being together all of us here.
Belinda: improvisation is an enhancement of our musical experience, and it just brought me through half the world - not many things would do that [=be the occasion for a journey from Australia]. This musical experession is more than my previous one and it grows my musical expression into new areas. In my experience there is a human experience more available in improvisation than in some strictly controlled musical forms that may only appeal to certain cultural groups or levels of education.
Carl: shall we say the conclusion is open? (some agreement).