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Posts Tagged ‘improvisation’

Music is an occasional topic on this blog (as shown in the Soundscape category). It was my first university discipline and love (when I was an undergrad at York’s wonderfully eclectic Music Department), still figures in my scholarly work from time to time (as in my work on Cape Breton Island and the Chernobyl Zone), […]

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If there’s a musical demonstration of relationalism, and by extension (as Skholiast points out) of ecology, it’s the kind of improvised music that the Dead are supposed to have excelled at (and occasionally did). The universe gives rise to many wondrous entities in its long history of spontaneity, relational responsiveness, habit-formation, and form-building. The habits start as rhythms, melodic chirps that turn into territorial refrains and calls, and that gradually maneuvre their way into verse patterns, melodies, harmonies, polyrhythms. Distinct songs develop for particular purposes and gradually get freed from those purposes, taken up into improvisational routines and performances, some of which crystallize into larger-scale architectonics, but only ever temporarily.

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