Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What Does It Take To Listen?

Really rewarding rehearsal with friends tonight.  A NORD and a bass clarinet and a saxophone can actually come up with quite a lot of different textures if the players are listeners enough.   When all players fall into synchrony it is quite a nice thing.   I think trios are my favorite format, as ideally everyone must have at least one hand on the ball at all times.

Most illuminating was the fact that we talked about our playing afterwards, a post-mortem if you will.  In those it was a great exercise to engage memory of what just happened and elaborate on each other's internal states of mind at those points the others found salient.

I've always wondered how many people actually engage in that kind of post-discovery/feedback phase in their collaborative music making.   In a self-regulated learning loop feedback should inform/alter the next phase of planning.

For instance, my co-conspirators and I all agreed the second segment felt a little forced, as if we were consciously trying to avoid the sounds we had made in the first incarnation of the night.  While there were moments that stood out, they were less conspicuous than the ones from sections 1 or 3.  As we discussed this, it altered the way we approached section 3, for the better I believe.

The hard part always tells in the pudding, which for me, is the most difficult to stomach.  I have a terrible time of listening to myself play.  It approaches listening to recordings of one's voice in terms of discomfort.

So I guess, dear reader, we have arrived at the thing I can set as a goal.  Force myself to listen to past recordings with a less/more critical ear and really parse out what needs to be improved upon.

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