Distributed Creativity | Collaboration and Improvisation in Contemporary Music
Creative practice in music, particularly in traditional concert culture, is commonly understood in terms of a rather stark division of labour between composer and performer. But this overlooks the distributed and interactive nature of the creative processes on which so much contemporary music depends. The incorporation of two features-improvisation and collaboration-into much contemporary music suggests that the received view of the relationship between composition and performance requires reassessment. Improvisation and collaborative working practices blur the composition/performance divide and, in doing so, provide important new perspectives on the forms of distributed creativity that play a central part in much contemporary music.
Distributed Creativity: Collaboration and Improvisation in Contemporary Music explores the different ways in which collaboration and improvisation enable and constrain creative processes. Thirteen chapters and twelve shorter Interventions offer a range of perspectives on distributed creativity in music, on composer/performer collaborations and on contemporary improvisation practices. The chapters provide substantial discussions of a variety of conceptual frameworks and particular projects, while the Interventions present more informal contributions from a variety of practitioners (performers, composers, improvisers), giving insights into the pleasures and perils of working creatively in collaborative and improvised ways.
Introduction and overview
Eric Clarke and Mark Doffman
Section 1: Frames
Chapter 1 Composer-performer collaborations in the long twentieth-century
Chapter 2 The labour that dare not speak its name: musical creativity, labour process and the materials of music
Chapter 3. Distributed cognition, ecological theory and group improvisation
Adam Linson and Eric Clarke
Chapter 4. Domesticating gesture: the collaborative creative process of Florence Baschet's StreicherKreis for 'augmented' string quartet (2006-2008)
Section 2: Collaborations
Intervention. 'These four must be stopped'
Chapter 5 Cross-cultural collaborations with the Kronos Quartet
Intervention. Collaboration: making it work
Chapter 6 Fluid practices, solid roles? The evolution of Forlorn Hope
Eric Clarke, Mark Doffman, David Gorton and Stefan Östersjö
James Saunders and Simon Limbrick
Chapter 7 Composition changing instruments changing composition
Intervention. My Mother Told Me Not To Stare: composition as a collaborative process
Intervention. The composer in the room: Jeremy West on Martyn Harry with His Majesty's Sagbutts and Cornetts
Chapter 8 Negotiations: sound and speech in the making of a studio recording
Maya Gratier, Rebecca Evans and Ksenija Stevanovic
Intervention. Recording Paraphrase: a 'social occasion'?
Chapter 9. Contemporary Music in Action: performer-composer collaboration within the conservatoire.
Mark Doffman and Jean-Philippe Calvin
Intervention. On working alone
Section 3: Improvisation
Intervention. Knots and other forms of entanglement
Chapter 10 (Re-)imagining improvisation: discursive positions in Iranian music from classical to jazz
Intervention. On the conundrum of composing an improvisation
Chapter 11 Improvisation as composition: the recorded organ improvisations of Vierne and Tournemire
Intervention. Improvisation and composition in the French organ tradition: an interview with Thierry Escaich
David Maw with Thierry Escaich
Chapter 12 Learning to improvise, improvising to learn: a qualitative study of learning processes in improvising musicians
Una MacGlone and Raymond MacDonald
Chapter 13 The ensemble as plural subject: jazz improvisation, collective intention, and group agency
Intervention. What is it like to be an improviser?
Neil Heyde, Christopher Redgate, Roger Redgate and Matthew Wright