Book of Interest—The Art of Is

How do you improvise?

It was 27 years ago when Stephen Nachmanovitch published his best selling/still selling classic Free Play. It has become a bible for those wishing to learn the art of improv. Now Nachmanovitch has written a new master tome on the art of improvising in life. He warns us that improvising doesn’t mean not preparing, it just means learning how to let go of the preparation and connect with the moment. He cites by way of example, Martin Luther King’s famous “improvisation” for his I Have a Dream speech. Prompted by Mahalia Jackson (“Tell them about the dream, Martin.”), he pushed away his notes and spontaneously told the world about the dream.

Nachmanovitch, who’s province is improvisational violin, tells readers that it doesn’t have to be an historic moment for improvisation to be life-changing. He warns us that skilled improvisation can be a destructive force if applied without a creative basis; true creative improvisation needs to be connected and responsive to other’s needs. He lets us know that, in improvisation, there are no mistakes; missteps lead us onto a new path to explore. He tells us how Buddhist practice informed his improvisational skills; making art is not a display but an awakening. He introduces us to Wabi-Sabi; the patina is the prize.

Clearly written, with a wealth of resources included, this a landmark entry into the field of creating sanity in a digitalized world. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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