Sunday, April 26, 2009

Deep Listening and Untethering

Just got back from a trip to NYC to perform a free improvised music concert with an ensemble I play in called Second Nature.

One of the essential skills of free improvised music is 'deep listening'. The idea is to listen so carefully to your co-collaborators that you can practically anticipate what move they will make next. The result is a completely improvised non-idiomatic music that sounds to the listener to be akin to musical telepathy.

When it all works out, the results are breathtaking. Particularly in an ensemble like Second Nature where you are talking about not just three or four musicians -- but fifteen!

I think this deep listening approach is something with a lot of value in our everyday lives and in the way that we understand our society. And with that in mind, this recent article by Fisch concerning the coming 'untethering' of electronics and the implications for education is most astute.

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