One of the musical creative skills that moves me the most is improvisation. And from all improvisational situations the fully improvised live solo performance which is the most dangerous thing I can imagine.
If you ever listened to one Keith Jarrett's famous concert recordings like The Koln Concert or The Paris Concert you know what I mean. The guy steps alone on a dark stage where his only companion is the great black piano. Then he sits at the piano and take us (together with some thousand of audience on site) on great unknown musical journey. There were no multiple takes, there were not even two takes. What he played at that very moments remains untouched forever.
Of course only the Giants of Music can do this at such level - pack the full theatre and play without preparation and record at the occasion a cornerstone albums. What can we - the musicians in the crowd - do in order to "learn" this way of making music?
I thought about it for some time and I am sure there is a way for us. The point is that even fully improvised show doesn't mean it was not prepared before. The whole life of musical experience stands behind Keith Jarrett or Brad Mehldau solo piano shows.
As usual when one's willing to climb a high mountain one must make a first step. Let's improvise on guitar (or whatever instrument you play) a piece of music that lasts for 30 seconds, maybe a minute, not more. When you try to do it the first question to answer is "how I make it sound like music not just noodling without too much sense"
Here are some examples of my IMPROVISATION exercises;
What's the difference between series of sounds and MUSIC???
That's not an easy question, is it? Since composers of XX century have broken all the classical rules and even recorded complete silence as a musical piece it is not to easy to define music. So I try to summarize what makes the Music for me.
Form and structure - even if it's very open and liquid - there is still a concept behind the series of sounds. There are somebody's thoughts of feelings behind the music, kind of repetitive consequence in developing (or undeveloping) the motives. It is like a good story - unfolding and keeping attention of the audience.
Such short definition fits in every era and style I like - from baroque to jazz to Sahara folk music.