Synopses & Reviews
is about the inner sources of spontaneous creation. It is about where art in the widest sense comes from. It is about why we create and what we learn when we do. It is about the flow of unhindered creative energy: the joy of making art in all its varied forms.
Free Play is directed toward people in any field who want to contact, honor, and strengthen their own creative powers. It integrates material from a wide variety of sources among the arts, sciences, and spiritual traditions of humanity. Filled with unusual quotes, amusing and illuminating anecdotes, and original metaphors, it reveals how inspiration arises within us, how that inspiration may be blocked, derailed or obscured by certain unavoidable facts of life, and how finally it can be liberated - how we can be liberated - to speak or sing, write or paint, dance or play, with our own authentic voice.
The whole enterprise of improvisation in life and art, of recovering free play and awakening creativity, is about being true to ourselves and our visions. It brings us into direct, active contact with boundless creative energies that we may not even know we had.
"Stephen Nachmanovitch has produced a celebration of human uniqueness. What it amounts to is a guide for gettingthe most out of whatever is possible"
—Norman Cousins, author of The Anatomy of an Illness
"This is an unusually intense, packed, thought-through book on the most difficult subject in the world: mystic creativity. If you wantto be intellectually informed about how people actually craete things, then you should read it at least once."
—Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
"Would that Free Play found its way into every school, office, hospital, and factory. It is a most exciting book and a most important one."
—Yehudi Menuhin, violinist
"Nachmanovitch tells it like it is in the most important book on improvisation I've yet seen."
—Keith Jarrett, pianist
"Free Play is a superb guide for anyone who aspires to create, whatever medium."
"This book is important not only because it delves into the creative process, but also because Nachmanovitch creates the opportunity for the reader to get in touch with her/his own creative possibilities and abilities."
—Harvard Educational Review
About the Author
Stephen Nachmanovitch is a musician, author, computer artist, and educator. He is an improvisational violinist, and writes and teaches about improvisation, creativity, and systems approaches in many fields of activity
Table of Contents
Free Play Prologue: A New Flute
Inspiration and Time's Flow
Mind at Play
Sex and Violins Practice
The Power of Limits
The Power of Mistakes
Obstacles and Openings
The Judging Spectre
Eros and Creation
Art for Life's Sake