On the wind
Last night as I lay in bed reading I heard a noise. Gentle at first, then louder. It was the sound of someone playing a wind instrument, perhaps a recorder. I looked at the clock it was 2am. The tunes floated to me on the wind and the sound brought me instant joy. My imagination visualised the notes drifting against the midnight black sky sneaking into each house in the neighbourhood. I was entranced. My joy was also enhanced when I thought of the player, who I knew was experiencing their own joy. They simply were inspired to play, right then, and did so for the pure enjoyment.
It made me think of improvisation.
In the beginning we all fell in love with the joy of the doing, the pure enjoyment. I know I lived my life around any chance to be at the Loose Moose and play. I’m pretty sure most people experience this as well. That simple and pure love of the doing, the playing, the experience for the sake of the experience.
Over the years this joy shifts, changes, and sometimes play becomes work.
In a form that is about inspiring your partner, where does the joy go? The pressure of performance, the awareness of audience, and the desire to be good all kick in. Pure play shifts to play with product in mind and our aim becomes achievement not the experience of the moment.
Improvisation thrives in the risk and unknown. The risk and unknown are created when players are playful. The more we develop our skills the more play and risk we need underneath to keep allowing us to find the next level of risk. Without that we plateau, recycle, stay in a hold pattern. This is when it feels like work.
If it is feeling like work to you, then you must get back to the play.
Like the mysterious night piper, play for your love and pure enjoyment of impro. This will inspire others to do the same.
I drifted to sleep with the magical sounds of the flute on the wind, woke with a smile and was inspired to write this.
Thank you mysterious night piper - play on!
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