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A definition of 'flow' follows. I was sitting under a tree at the park a Sunday or two ago and I was listening to STS9 on my headphones. I was completely in awe of the improvisation that was going on in the music. each member felt the next members energy and reacted based on a preconception of the next note that the other was going to play. Rather than focusing on their own individual aspects of the song they cultivate a very collective sound working together. It is amazing. Then I started thinking about times when i have really been in the zone with a group I was working with. It doesn't happen very often it seems. All participants have to be fully aware and fully engaged and concentrating hard on the task, whatever it may be. SOOO, i also happen to be reading a book that was talking about group problem solving under low doses of LSD. this was research that was done years ago, in the 60s. A bunch of professionals were given microdoses of lsd and sat listening to music for a while then after that they engaged on individual problems that they have been working on for a while and haven't found satisfactory resolution to yet. Anyway, all of the participants had some kind of cognitive breakthroughs using this type of process. So then i got to thinking about these ideas together. So I am interested in how psychedelics can play a role in a number of things here. Most specifically, I wonder to what extent these psychedelic substances can enhance ones ability to enter into these kinds of group 'trance' states. I use that word loosely here, trance, as the embodiment of this group flow specifically relating to music. I'm going to go back to school at some point and am really just thinking about possible research ideas. In this senario with the group flow and music it would be interesting to get some world renowned musicians together and give them a psychedelic substance and measure their brain activity while they all try to play and collaborate on a new composition together. obviously there would be a lot of structure there. semantics.
Quote: Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.
Can you guys give me any other ideas on some bands that really rely upon this kind of group flow during their shows with their improvisation? Any discussion on this subject would be fun, right?!
Can you guys give me any other ideas on some bands that really rely upon this kind of group flow during their shows with their improvisation?
I think I know what you mean, and I would say that The Grateful Dead would be a great example of group flow and improvisation.
Also The Doors on LSD is absolutely nuts. I wouldn't say it's like a group flow, it's more, at times, like each single person is doing a different thing; especially the drummer. And the drumming sounds very shamanic at times, especially in "Celebration of the lizard king"
What you are taking about, it seems to a musician like me, is good music. This is the only way it can be produced. And what I mean is 'MUSIC', not the abstract of a 'good song' but the act and experience of creation within the sonic spectrum. It can be done alone or can be a shared experience with others.
It's more like a state of being, and the 'music' is just the communication that occurs at that level of being. Directly transferring to others, in that level of being; emotional, intellectual and physical expressions.
George Clinton and all iterations of Parliament Funkadelic (Parliament, Funkadelic, P-Funk, P-Funk All stars).
Frank Zappa and all of his bands, though improvisation was only allowed at specified times but his whole operation was based on everyone in the band flowing to the same frequency. Also check out Captain Beefheart.
Primus (live) or the later Les Claypool outings, he did some things with members of the Police, Buckethead, Parliament...
I think this is what jazz is all about, by the way. Listening to each other and playing in the space allowed that each musician leaves for the others. I think that is the jazz influence at it's most primal. This practice has been applied to all types of music. Check out the great jazz drummers from the first half of the 1900's. Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, some black guys with names that escape me right now...
Umm, Santana at Woodstock! He was peaking on mescaline at the time, pretty sure the rest of the band (and everybody else) was on something good. I just have to post a video
Notice how it starts with a 4/4 clap, carried throughout the song by the drummers hi-hat, that sets the frequency and simultaneously creates the space for the experience of this wonderful expression.
Almost forgot about Jimi Hendirx, of course! His woodstock performance was also stellar!
-------------------- "...And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual."