Structures & Flow
making set-ups for improvisation and performing them - a workshop to explore best practices for vocal instant composition
While intuitively, Structures and Flow might seem opposites of each other, they are in fact completely intertwined.
Take river deltas and city traffic: Flow creates Structures (all by itself) and Structures create Flow. When improvising together, we can use the same principles and look at them from two side: We can self-impose structures in order to strengthen our flow, or dive happily into free music and become aware of the structures that emerge.
Flow is one of those central words of improvising: when there is no flow and vivid engagement in the moment, up comes thinking, doubt, trying to do it ‘right’ – all the things we want to avoid when creating music on the spot.
Structures, however, seem just as important to look at, even if those structures appear in the moment. We need clarity and a certain definition of the musical landscape in order to deepen our material and give shape to the music, rather than going in all directions at once.
One thing is recognising these emerging structures, another is using self-imposed limitations (scores, rules or scripts) for our improvisations. But what sort of ‘extra’ structures work well within improvised performance? Which limitations are energizing, rather than smothering the improvisation or numbing it? Which structures make the currents of improvisation engagingly vivid and increase our flow?
The idea of this workshop is to let you create and undergo many different types of scores and frames and by trying them all discover the workings of a well-designed set-up!