Improvisation as a catalyst for collaborative musical thinking and composition (2006)

My PhD thesis. You can download the written section of my thesis from here. Please get in touch if you are interested in more information. The complete thesis is held at the University of Newcastle Library, NSW Australia.

The work presented my thesis is an account of an individual journey of challenge and discovery using non-idiomatic improvisation. It consists of:

1-8 CDs of improvised and collaborative material recorded over a 5-year period, 2000-5

2-An accompanying thesis explaining the creative process involved in the collaborative improvisations presented on the CDs

3-A folio of scores and recordings of fully notated works relevant to the collaborative project

Improvisation as a catalyst for collaborative musical thinking and composition is an account of an individual's creative journey as a musician in the early 21st century. As a performer and teacher, I have always worked on building awareness of what one is doing through active listening. Feedback/feedforward is a process of listening (feedback) to one's work, deciding what needs to be changed, then implementing a new strategy (feedforward) to achieve that goal.  We may call this a 'process loop'. This essay is a very big 'process loop', a reflection of the way that I have always worked as a professional musician. In the thesis, I have taken my feedback/feedforward method of working into the area of improvisation. My 'process loop' is an account of my interaction with the interface of experiential and conceptual learning through improvisation: this is the subject of the thesis. This account emphasises the process that I undertook in this journey of discovery. I am proud of the product of my process. However, the most important part for me has been understanding and following my process. Understanding my process enables me to apply my research to my teaching, performing and composing. On reflection, this work has developed in an organic way through a dialogue between myself, and other researchers/artists whose insights I have integrated into my practice.



Copyright © Margery Smith 2006
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