The “surfing” framing device has been working a lot better than expected — well, not that I knew what I was supposed to be expecting to start with. Having none is the only way to keep your sanity in these kinds of situations, really.
Because we already had an idea in place today’s rehearsal required a lot less prep-talk and we kept it pretty loose. Melinda was eating a burrito and I was eating some veggies I bought from the store down the street, because it happened to be on sale. (She’s the vegetarian of the group — normally it’s the other way around.) We talked a bit then jumped right into playing.
The only thing I mentioned was that people probably wanted to hear her “surf” the waves, not paddle in the water. Paddling is the work required to get to the wave itself, but once you’re up and riding, you have to let the wave take over and take you around on your own. And that’s the stuff people want to see — what makes for a good surfing video, interesting music, and an apt metaphor for life’s certain moments.
There’s a side to me that thinks that removing the work from the portrayal of an idea is an unfortunate thing, since it creates an image of glory seemingly made easy. By going the academic route, I put most of my energy into creating dry (some would say boring) documentations of ideas, geared toward the purpose of education and research use. But here we’re just showing people the “good parts”, so to speak. That seems to be the main difference between academics and industry types if anything.
On the other hand, people are busy and we all have our niche talents, so not every product can (or should be) a long 50-page “how-to” manual. So you just have to follow the model that’s given here, and hope that it might inspire a few to go about learning more about it on their own. Those foolish enough to take things at face value and go in unprepared…well, just hope that the waves will go easy on them when the time comes.
This was our first session of the night but I think we nailed it right away. The “waves” of the piano were faster, more unpredictable and complex, but Melinda stayed above the water the whole time and everything sounded great.
But, what would happen if we took it a step even further? That’s the one thing about improv…there’s always more, no matter how much gets done.
Oh, the piano was way out of tune, if it’s not already obvious from the recording. But whatevers, eh — it’s like that dude from that computer company says, “we’re all gonna die anyway”.
(Picture courtesy of Patrick Vlaskovits, drawn by the infamous internet meme, FAKEGRIMLOCK. These pictures are previews for the upcoming book, “The Lean Entrepreneur”)
This is a track collection for my new album, “Cloud Computing: Adventures in Music Entrepreneurship”, compiled as a YouTube playlist. These are mostly piano improvisations recorded from *within* the piano, which gives the listener an insider’s perspective of the musical and creative process. Each track is accompanied by a journal entry, as I’ve documented all of my efforts at trying to advance a type of music into the marketplace that’s largely considered an “avant-garde” style at this point in time — an ongoing story of the evolution of musical ideas as it comes in contact with the general public.
Listen to it here (YouTube Playlist):
Read more about it here:
Support the project here: