Flow, Gesture, and Spaces in Free JazzTowards a Theory of Collaboration
Computational Music Science
Lets try to play the music and not the background. Ornette Coleman, liner notes of the LP Free Jazz  WhenIbegantocreateacourseonfreejazz,theriskofsuchanenterprise was immediately apparent: I knew that Cecil Taylor had failed to teach such a matter, and that for other, more academic instructors, the topic was still a sort of outlandish adventure. To be clear, we are not talking about tea- ing improvisation herea di?erent, and also problematic, matterrather, we wish to create a scholarly discourse about free jazz as a cultural achievement, and follow its genealogy from the American jazz tradition through its various outbranchings,suchastheEuropeanandJapanesejazzconceptionsandint- pretations. We also wish to discuss some of the underlying mechanisms that are extant in free improvisation, things that could be called technical aspects. Such a discourse bears the ?avor of a contradicto in adjecto:Teachingthe unteachable, the very negation of rules, above all those posited by white jazz theorists, and talking about the making of sounds without aiming at so-called factual results and all those intellectual sedimentations: is this not a suicidal topic? My own endeavors as a free jazz pianist have informed and advanced my conviction that this art has never been theorized in a satisfactory way, not even by Ekkehard Jost in his unequaled, phenomenologically precise p- neering book Free Jazz .
Free jazz, as performed by such artists as John Coltrone and Archie Shepp, is a creative, collaborative art form. This book examines free jazz and develops geometric theories of gestures and distributed identities, also known as swarm intelligence.
Getting off Ground.- What Is Free Jazz?.- Jazz in Transition.- The Landscape of Free Jazz.- Out of this World.- The Art of Collaboration.- Collaborative Spaces in Free Jazz.- Which Collaboratories?.- The Innards of Time.- Gestural Creativity.- Gestures: From Philosophy to Thought Experiments.- Geometry of Gestures.- The Escher Theorem and Gestural Creativity in Free Jazz.- What Group Flow Generates.- What Is Flow?.- The Symbolic Axis of Distributed Identity.- Epilogue.- From Pre-to Postproduction: The Infinite Listening.- Global Strategies for Free Jazz.- The Future of Free Jazz.
The scientific approach of this book transcends the limits of art literature in that it also develops geometric theories of gestures and distributed identities, also known as swarm intelligence.We exemplify this approach in the framework of free jazz, which is a prototypical creative and collaborative art form. Leader artists such as John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, and Archie Shepp are presented in their strongest works and theories. The pillars of our theory of collaboration are built from psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s flow, physicist Gilles Châtelet’s gestures, and computer scientist Bill Wulf's collaboratories.
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