Monday, February 2, 2015

Soloing, part 12-1.1: Improvisation (addendum)

I've been thinking a lot about improvisation, especially about the way I characterized it in my blog post back here.

I think of improv in tiers: As a tool, as a skill, and as an art form.

As a tool, improv is mostly focused on your soloing.  You solo, maybe have some improv in there, then you finish.  The end.  While you don't have to spend much time thinking about it, you also get the least out of it.

As a skill, it can help your solo, but it can start being less "about you" in kumidaiko.  How do you use improvisation to accentuate the performance?  Say you're on chappa in a song that allows you some freedom in what you play.  When do you add a couple of extra notes or a buzz?  Maybe you can move around - when do you interact with someone or hold stance and project your energy at a specific person?

Another aspect of this is in kiai.  Aside from the parts when it's scripted into a song, when do you kiai?  What kind of kiai?  Choosing when and what do to in those moments is definitely utilizing improvisation, but we don't often think about it in that way.

As an art form, we move away from taiko-centric things.  It's more about mental fluidity and the speed one develops in generating new ideas.  I feel like someone who's really good at improvisation in one art will carry that skill over to any other arts they take up.  It's more than thinking outside of the box, it's how quickly you can get outside of it, what method you take to do it, and how far away you are when you're done.

For example, if I said "give me a color," what did you think of?  Red?  Green?  Moonlight blue?  Hippopotamus Orange?  Yeah that last one isn't a real color, but it made you think of something very...unique, right?  The further you can get away from that box, the more often those kinds of wacky ideas will come, even if they're not always appropriate, haha.

I probably think of soloing and improvisation more than any other aspects of taiko these days.  There's so much to discover within them and new challenges to tackle.  I hope this post sparks something in you, as well!

No comments:

Post a Comment