08/4/15

New Improvisation Card Game: Tonic

Pianist Scott Hughes recently crowd funded (Kickstarter) a project to build a card game to help musicians practice improvisation. It’s called Tonic, and you can download it for free. Scott says:

I believe improvisation is the #1 greatest thing a musician can do to improve him or herself as a player and as a person. The tragedy is that it’s not taught in standard music programs, and as a result most musicians are afraid of it. I studied music at UArts and Temple and saw a lot of the usual problems, so I want to provide an alternative.

 

06/2/15
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Enhancing Musical Creativity with Meditation (guest post)

By Doug Hanvey

As a music teacher, and former instructor of an undergraduate class on mindfulness meditation (at Indiana University Bloomington from 2007 to 2014), I am fascinated by the many possible applications of meditation to music. One of these applications is creativity.

The Source of Creativity

Albert Einstein said “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.” Like most geniuses, Einstein understood that the source of creativity is beyond the mind. And, of course, what is beyond the mind is mysterious – at least to the mind!

Musicians can upgrade their creativity by becoming more familiar and comfortable with the mysterious place from which all thought and creativity arise. Meditation is a proven way of doing this.

Now, I realize that by using terms such as “beyond the mind” and “space of awareness,” I can be accused of New Age philosophizing that has no practical relevance to everyday life. Yet, as evidenced by Einstein’s appreciation thereof (not to mention that of many other artists and scientists), getting comfortable with the space beyond thoughts is as practical and useful as tying one’s own shoes, particularly for creative activities like improvising.

Meditation is a superb practice for any creative musician. Let me tell you about two types of meditation, both of which I’ve practiced extensively, and both of which I’ve found to be extremely powerful for boosting creativity.

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05/24/15

David Byrne on Creativity in Music

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailThe act of making music, clothes, art, or even food has a very different and possibly more beneficial effect on us than simply consuming those things. And yet, for a very long time, the attitude of the state toward teaching and funding the arts has been in direct opposition to fostering creativity among the general population. It can often seem that those in power don’t want us to enjoy making things for ourselves – they’d prefer to establish a cultural hierarchy that devalues our amateur efforts and encourages consumption rather than creation. … Capitalism tends toward the creation of passive consumers, and in many ways this tendency is counterproductive. Our innovations and creations, after all, are what keep many seemingly unrelated industries alive.

– David Byrne, How Music Works

 

Improv Quote of the Day: The True Mozart

Improv Quote of the Day: The True Mozart

  Contemporaries report that when he was playing the piano, especially when improvising, he be...

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Tag: improv-quote, improvisation, mozart

Improvisation Principles #3

Improvisation Principles #3

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"] (Photo credit: spcbrass)[/caption] More principles...

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Tag: classical-improvisation, principles-of-improvisation

Noam Sivan - Baroque Improvisation (video)

Stunning piano improvisation by pianist/composer Noam Sivan on a theme sung moments before by an au...

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Tag: baroque-improvisation, classical-improvisation, improvisation, noam-sivan

ZAHA: The Denver Zephyr (Soundpainting Video)

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Tag: denver-zephyr, evan-mazunik, improvisation, soundpainting, zaha

Improv Jam #12 (Horn + Djembe) (Video)

3+3+2+2 ...

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Tag: classical-improvisation, horn, improv-game, improv-jam, improvisation, jeffrey-agrell, lin-foulk