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Sync or Swarm: Musical Improvisation in a Complex Age

by

Sync or Swarm: Musical Improvisation in a Complex Age Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Improvising music involves a leap into the uncharted, but its success relies on abilities honed through experience and on an unwavering commitment to the moment and context of performance. Improvisers synchronize their intentions and actions, all the while maintaining a keen sensitivity to and connection with the evolving group dynamic. At times, performance can evoke a swarmlike quality in which the individual parts are moving in very different ways, yet the musical whole evolves with a collective purpose.Sync or Swarm provides a fascinating study of musical improvisation, using theories from cultural and cognitive studies and the emerging science of chaos and complexity. David Borgo explores his topic with a systems approach, as individual chapters expand outward in scope: from the perspective of a solo improviser (English saxophonist Evan Parker); to that of a group interacting in performance and over time (the Sam Rivers trio); to the network dynamics that bind together performers, listeners, educators, and promoters into a musical community. Each chapter is paired with a different aspect of the emerging sciences, including perspectives from the study of embodied cognition, nonlinear dynamics, self-organizing systems, social networks, and situated and distributed learning.Sync or Swarm looks through the lens of contemporary science to illuminate the process and practice of improvising music and explores the ability of improvisation to offer a visceral engagement with these emerging scientific notions, ultimately offering us new ways of engaging with and shaping the discourse that surrounds music in general.The book comes with a 74-minute CD featuring performances by Evan Parker, the Sam Rivers Trio, George Lewis, and the author's own improvising collective, Surrealestate.

Book News Annotation:

Using scientific concepts such as cognitive linguistics and systems theory, Borgo (music, U. of California San Diego) considers free improvisation in music, its aesthetics, and analyzes examples of solo improvisations by English saxophonist Evan Parker and group endeavors such as the Sam Rivers trio. He applies chaos theory to their music, as well as to that by the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Peter Brötzmann's group, and Derek Bailey, followed by discussions of theories about learning and cognition, sync, swarm intelligence, and network theory in terms of music. A CD containing the music discussed in the text accompanies the book.
Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

Using scientific concepts such as cognitive linguistics and systems theory, Borgo (music, U. of California San Diego) considers free improvisation in music, its aesthetics, and analyzes examples of solo improvisations by English saxophonist Evan Parker and group endeavors such as the Sam Rivers trio. He applies chaos theory to their music, as well as to that by the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Peter Brötzmann's group, and Derek Bailey, followed by discussions of theories about learning and cognition, sync, swarm intelligence, and network theory in terms of music. A CD containing the music discussed in the text accompanies the book. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

A fascinating study of musical improvisation, using theories from cultural and cognitive studies and the emerging sciences.

Synopsis:

Improvising music involves a leap into the uncharted, but its success relies on abilities honed through experience and on an unwavering commitment to the moment and context of performance. Improvisers synchronize their intentions and actions, all the while maintaining a keen sensitivity to and connection with the evolving group dynamic. At times, performance can evoke a swarmlike quality in which the individual parts are moving in very different ways, yet the musical whole evolves with a collective purpose.

Sync or Swarm provides a fascinating study of musical improvisation, using theories from cultural and cognitive studies and the emerging science of chaos and complexity. David Borgo explores his topic with a systems approach, as individual chapters expand outward in scope: from the perspective of a solo improviser (English saxophonist Evan Parker); to that of a group interacting in performance and over time (the Sam Rivers trio); to the network dynamics that bind together performers, listeners, educators, and promoters into a musical community. Each chapter is paired with a different aspect of the emerging sciences, including perspectives from the study of embodied cognition, nonlinear dynamics, self-organizing systems, social networks, and situated and distributed learning.

Sync or Swarm looks through the lens of contemporary science to illuminate the process and practice of improvising music and explores the ability of improvisation to offer a visceral engagement with these emerging scientific notions, ultimately offering us new ways of engaging with and shaping the discourse that surrounds music in general.

Synopsis:

Provides a study of musical improvisation, using theories from cultural and cognitive studies. The author presents a systemic view, with chapters funneling outward in scope from the perspective of a solo improviser to that of a group interacting in performance, to the long-term dynamics of an improvising group from formation to dissolution.

Table of Contents

List of Figures I List of Audio Examples Acknowledgements 3 Preface i The Sound and Science of Surprise 1 The Age of Complexity 3 Sync or Swarm 6 Reverence for Uncertainty 13 Exploring Uncertainty 14 Performing Uncertainty 24 Experiencing Uncertainty 27 Documenting Uncertainty 31 Evaluating Uncertainty 33 The Embodied Mind 39 Taking the Note for a Walk 39 The Body in the Music 42 It's a Bit Like Juggling 53 Thinking about the Laundry 57 A Chameleon on a Mirror 61 Rivers of Consciousness 65 Complexity and Emergence 67 Time and the Qualia of Experience 71 The Phase Space of Improvisation 75 Hues of Melanin 82 A Delicate Balance 87 The Edge of Chaos 91 The Turbulent Mirror 93 Fractal Worlds 97 Self-Organization 134 The Rage for Chaos 143 Sync and Swarm 149 Coupling and Entrainment 151 Insect Music 157 By Lead or By Seed 163 A Web Without a Spider 174 Harnessing Complexity 189 The Map is Not the Territory 190 Group Creativity 202 Surrealestate 209 The Shores of Multiplicity 216 References 221 Notes 221 Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780826417299
Author:
Borgo, David
Publisher:
Continuum
Subject:
General
Subject:
History and criticism
Subject:
Improvisation (music)
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Jazz
Subject:
Free jazz - History and criticism
Subject:
Music - Jazz
Subject:
Jazz
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20060131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.27 x 6.36 x 0.89 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
Metaphysics » General

Sync or Swarm: Musical Improvisation in a Complex Age New Hardcover
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$43.25 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Continuum International Publishing Group - English 9780826417299 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A fascinating study of musical improvisation, using theories from cultural and cognitive studies and the emerging sciences.
"Synopsis" by ,
Improvising music involves a leap into the uncharted, but its success relies on abilities honed through experience and on an unwavering commitment to the moment and context of performance. Improvisers synchronize their intentions and actions, all the while maintaining a keen sensitivity to and connection with the evolving group dynamic. At times, performance can evoke a swarmlike quality in which the individual parts are moving in very different ways, yet the musical whole evolves with a collective purpose.

Sync or Swarm provides a fascinating study of musical improvisation, using theories from cultural and cognitive studies and the emerging science of chaos and complexity. David Borgo explores his topic with a systems approach, as individual chapters expand outward in scope: from the perspective of a solo improviser (English saxophonist Evan Parker); to that of a group interacting in performance and over time (the Sam Rivers trio); to the network dynamics that bind together performers, listeners, educators, and promoters into a musical community. Each chapter is paired with a different aspect of the emerging sciences, including perspectives from the study of embodied cognition, nonlinear dynamics, self-organizing systems, social networks, and situated and distributed learning.

Sync or Swarm looks through the lens of contemporary science to illuminate the process and practice of improvising music and explores the ability of improvisation to offer a visceral engagement with these emerging scientific notions, ultimately offering us new ways of engaging with and shaping the discourse that surrounds music in general.

"Synopsis" by , Provides a study of musical improvisation, using theories from cultural and cognitive studies. The author presents a systemic view, with chapters funneling outward in scope from the perspective of a solo improviser to that of a group interacting in performance, to the long-term dynamics of an improvising group from formation to dissolution.
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