The Art of Is

The Art of Is : Improvising as a Way of Life

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Description

A critically acclaimed musician and teacher presents a guide to the dynamics of improvisation

It's easy to assume that Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous and endlessly influential I Have a Dream speech was prescripted, vetted by others, written, and rewritten. It was not. Instead it was given on the fly, when from the audience singer Mahalia Jackson urged King off his prepared text. The result has inspired millions.

The Art of Is contains breath-of-fresh-air thinking about how to cultivate the kind of game-changing creativity everyone seeks. Stephen Nachmanovitch shows exactly how the passion and immediacy of improvisation can be cultivated and how, in fact, we all improvise all the time-whether we are driving or deep in conversation. He explores ideas about being in the moment and reacting to people as they are, finding gold in unexpected distractions and roadblocks, and not only accepting but also celebrating imperfections in everyday practices. This creative mindfulness also makes innovation the province not of solitary geniuses but the result of engagement and interaction-and makes clear that improvising, creating, innovating are only of value when rooted in an ethical and social foundation. The results, Nachmanovitch shows, foster meaningful change and invention-and may just ignite a dream.
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Product details

  • CD-Audio
  • 135 x 191mm
  • English
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged
  • 1982665068
  • 9781982665067

Review quote

A philosophical meditation on living, living fully, living in the present. To the author, an improvisation is a co-creation that arises out of listening and mutual attentiveness, out of a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. It is a product of the nervous system, bigger than the brain and bigger than the body; it is a once-in-a-lifetime encounter, unprecedented and unrepeatable. Drawing from the wisdom of the ages, The Art of Is not only gives the reader an inside view of the states of mind that give rise to improvisation, it is also a celebration of the power of the human spirit that, when exercised with love, immense patience, and discipline, is an antidote to hate.

-- "Yo-Yo Ma, multiaward winning violinist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient"
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