Improvisation, the spontaneous musical emission of scared vibration with a delicate and powerful nature is a true meditation and a free expression of one's innate nature. The art of the process of the instrument and the accumulated wisdom of the nature of sound are unified seamlessly with the player's pure intent to radiate and manifest original music. The player, the instrument, and the sound transcends boundaries and becomes a unified field in the inner silence of awareness and the freedom of being in the universal flow as the music.
The many years of training and the deep knowledge of music theory are embedded in the player's listening with total awareness which is beyond thinking: this basis functions from an intuitive level. Playing with an ear for the aesthetic feel and receptivity of the flow yields the natural urge for the next motif and thus the continuous stream of the music flows with a free and genuine personality. One may retain specific parameters learned from the years of training and study while simultaneously playing with complete freedom within those parameters.
Sound is on the present edge of time, but music is a stream where the continuity of the past lingers in the awareness forming the song of coherent resonances and a specific feel. In the art of improvisation the meditative player's awareness extends into the multiverse of the future and senses the potential pathways and chooses the one to follow by feel, the intuitive sense of the emotion, and spontaneously manifest through the axis of the present flow of sound. The player must maintain a balance and ride the tightrope of the present with awareness of what has past and what is being drawn down into the present from vast and yet constrained future potential such that the music may progress from the past seamlessly.
The art of composing music requires some improvisational insight and combines that skill with the logical mind assembling pieces of the composer's playing according to a desired feel or thematic constraint. Well composed music retains a natural flow and expresses an ineffable quality to the listener. Very well composed music seems natural to the listener as if it is meant to be as it has been written. Playing composed music requires a familiarity which allows the player to assimilate the piece and play it with complete body muscle memory as natural as if it were being played for the first time.
Music has the ability to put the listener into a state where the song can bring forth specific feelings as if the listener were transported to a different life situation. Improvisational music and well composed music can bring a listener into a deep meditative state where the listeners own essence enters their awareness with a freedom to release their present life situation and be fully present in the sound. Music is a transcendental art which can lift the player and the listeners out of the context of their daily lives into a numinous space of the humanness of the emotion of the song. Improvisational music can transmit a freedom and spontaneity which returns the immersed listener to their center where their natural essence possesses a satisfaction amid the creative urges which motive all aspects of life.
First published in the quarterly publication of the World Flute Society
Overtones May 2023, Volume 2