DIMC Conference Discussion 2009

Present: Carl Bergstroem-Nielsen, Henrik Ehland Rasmussn, Mette Stig Nielsen, Emily Doolittle, Regine Leonore Birkner, Norbert Zajac, Leopoldo Siano, Belinda cody, Jeanette Eeuwes, Helena Marchand.


Carl (moderator): This time we collected keywords from you, and we have tried to take them together into two main lines of topics. There is one dealing with basic concepts in a holistic way it seems, such as the general importance of listening (Jeanette). This line could also include Haruhiko's mentioning of "resonance". Haruhiko also talks about a "crack of structure", breaking up previous structure, maybe out leading to new constructive ideas. Belinda mentioned the keyword "freedom" generally, and Corinna elaborated on it. She said she valued "reversibility", being able to change direction when the context demands it. More generally, she asks "how can we deal with habits". Maybe habits could include the way we use the visual side in performance or not (Regine)? In any case, I would like to pose you this general question now, how can we deal with habits?



Mette: it's important that you know they are habits, so as to have a distance

Emily: they may include how much I play, how much I remain silent. One could ask oneself the question, what happens if I do exactly the opposite...

Carl: how do I become aware of my habits?

Regine: maybe with exercises - maybe in reponding to someone else, in a dialogue

Belinda: you may notice, this I have done many times

Regine: You have to be careful about that which you are comfortable about

Corinna: the question is, does it fit the context. Sometimes I think, I will not do this now.

Regine: if it's hard to do it in another way it sure is a habit

Emily: it's good to be aware - habits are friends as well as enemies

Corinna: without habits we could not manage in our lives. But it is important to know whether you would like to this thing or not

Carl: solo work was a good challenge for me. After some time I can have the feeling I have used all the sounds I have, and then begins the interesting task of how to play on....

Mette: you have to develop new technique

Henrik: sometimes it's good to say, I know nothing...

Carl: could you mention some relevant experiences from this conference - we have played so much? On the first evening there was a free improvisation in my group which began with percussion sounds, and I went on with transferring this feeling to the subsequent playing, instead of letting it be an introduction to more "normal" playing.

Mette: it's nice to be provoked a lot instead of just sitting at home. I was pushed during the first evening.

Emily: random groups were good - the novelty of new people you did not choose yourself, that's provocation enough

Henrik: funny, music is very intimate and very technical at the same time

Norbert: with people I haven't played with before I may think, was that me?

Emily: if you perform for others you have to stay connected to the music

Haruhiko: in the first session many inspirations came to me

Corinna: communication was clear - all "pieces" had rules but we did not talk about them

Jeanette: In my workshop, I had experience with different movements signaling upbeat and downbeat and was very confused about how to make it work. Then I chose to do different exercises which made me very happy

Mette: it's a question also of motoric abilities


Carl: what is your strategy as an improvisor in the jungle of improvised music?

Belinda: there is no jungle but freedom, choices made. I feel it more like exploring

Regine: you have every possibility and that's the jungle

Corinna: often, the music itself makes the choice. If a motif develops, use it and do not go elsewhere

Mette: I experience being increasingly critical of myself, having to conduct activity in some direction

Belinda: energy and aesthetics is bigger than us

Emily: it's a combination of listening and we doing what we think the music needs

Regine: we have both possibilities, to go with the tendency, and to decide

Corinna: the question, should the piece end here or not poses the question, is this part of the piece or is it the ending

Haruhiko: I'm a free improvisor but not so free, also traditional Japanese musician and jazz musician. A good way is to put myself into a new context

Emily: oboe players secretly dream of playing more flexibly like hichiriki

Haruhiko: maybe you discover your habit through hichiriki


Helena: we lost a shared language. Everyone at this table has his or her own conception. Scientific and artistic communities have to have a shared language.

Emily: improvising now and 10 years later would be very different

Mette: most of us know very well Western contemporary music

Regine: I think our common language IS the music

Mette: but music is not a universal language

Henrik: we have values - we are not building walls against the world, cathedrals

Helena: for lay people, it is confusing

Regine: confusion may be why we do it (laughter)

Mette: for some of us the purpose is to develop performances as a musician, others are concerned about teaching, still others about their own process and personal development. We just accept being together all of us here.

Belinda: improvisation is an enhancement of our musical experience, and it just brought me through half the world - not many things would do that [=be the occasion for a journey from Australia]. This musical experession is more than my previous one and it grows my musical expression into new areas. In my experience there is a human experience more available in improvisation than in some strictly controlled musical forms that may only appeal to certain cultural groups or levels of education.

Carl: shall we say the conclusion is open? (some agreement).


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