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The shortest feedback loop I can think of is doing improvisation in front of an audience.
I've always been a spontaneous singer. And all the stuff that you hear on the end of the songs, what they call the ad libs - that just comes out of my head. That's not thought out at all. I have the verses and the choruses, and then after that it's total improvisation.
Dancers work and they work and they work, and they master their skills so far that improvisation just comes flowing out of them. Their natural expression of the best they can possibly be comes out of them because there is no boundary to hold them back... That's the mentality that I'm trying to create, recreate and hold on to forever.
Through improvisation, jazz teaches you about yourself. And through swing, it teaches you that other people are individuals too. It teaches you how to coordinate with them.
The main three components are the blues, improvisation - which is some kind of element that people are trying to make it up - and swing, which means even though they're making up music, they're trying to make it up together. It feels great, like you're having a great conversation with somebody.
I was about 14 when I started with a theater group; it was like a stage group on the weekends alongside school. And it was run by a group of guys who'd been to drama school themselves in London. So they introduced us to techniques that they'd learn about, and they kind of informed us about improvisation and screenwriting and all of that stuff.
Improvisation is almost like the retarded cousin in the comedy world. We've been trying forever to get improvisation on TV. It's just like stand-up. It's best when it's just left alone. It doesn't translate always on TV. It's best live.
There's always some room for improvisation.
The apparatus has to serve our improbability and improvisation. Being good and playing the songs is not enough.
One interesting thing about jazz, or art in general, but jazz especially is such an individual art form in the sense that improvisation is such a big part of it, so it feels like it should be less soldiers in an army and more like free spirits melding. And yet, big band jazz has a real military side to it.
I find Indian music very funky. I mean it's very soulful, with their own kind of blues. But it's the only other school on the planet that develops improvisation to the high degree that you find in jazz music. So we have a lot of common ground.
All you're trying to do in an improvisation is get as much material as possible for the editing room.
My whole life has been one big improvisation.
When I sit down to write a song, it's a kind of improvisation, but I formalize it a bit to get it into the studio, and when I step up to a microphone, I have a vague idea of what I'm about to do.
If it's a modern-day story dealing with certain ethnic groups, I think I could open up certain scenes for improvisation, while staying within the structure of the script.
I always had a knack for improvisation. I can write down the notes I play, but never really had a proper academic musical background. I suppose I'm blessed and cursed by the fact I have that freedom.
To sing a song is like whispering to a child's ear. It is an art heavily relying on improvisation.
The music of the Gypsies belongs in the sphere of improvisation rather than in any other, without which it would have no power to exist.
There's nothing that makes you so aware of the improvisation of human existence as a song unfinished. Or an old address book.
I hated improvisation because in my early days as an actor, improvisation meant somebody had just come down from Oxford and they were doing a play above a pub in Kentish Town, and the biggest ego would win.
The genius of our country is improvisation, and jazz reflects that. It's our great contribution to the arts.
Bebop and hip-hop, in so many ways, they're connected. A lot of rappers remind me so much of bebop guys in terms of improvisation, beats and rhymes. My dream is to see hip-hop incorporated in education. You've got the youth of the world in the palm of your hand.
It ain't about if he knocks a guy out. It's about how he knocks a guy out. It's the style, the improvisation.
Jazz is all about improvisation and it's about the moment in time, doing it this way now, and you'll never do it this way twice. I've studied the masters. Why would I want to play ball after the guys who sit on a bench? I want to play like Michael Jordan.
The thing about improvisation is that it's not about what you say. It's listening to what other people say. It's about what you hear.
C. S. Lewis
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