Experience : Open Jam

Throughout the first module, I continually focused on experiencing and being part of the audience surrounding the Open Water Jam, based from the Barrelhouse Ballroom in Totnes, Devon. Watching strangers come together until a collective music form is made without spoken direction apart from an understood language of “notes.”

Rhythm, beat and musical intuition was at the core. This is a primitive way that humans used to connect, especially surrounding celebration or just a harmonic energy flow, providing an unspoken language and relational harmonic tool. Music is often used as a culturally accepted expression of emotion - who is melodies and lyrics seen differently to art? Is it due to the performative nature of connection? Tools vs instruments, etc; The role of the alter ego in stage shows and separation from the “self.” You feel a human infinity, joy or collective ecstatic notion with the music - almost innate and no need for much prior discussion, only outlined with a direction or a “note” to structure the group. On some occasions, participation was made with the audience, in a state of collective stagnation, using cues to influence lyrics or chord sequences leading to a feeling of random unified exploration into the unknown. It was a combined feeling of joy and collectivism and sharing once given a space and a stage!

Lottie Matthews © 2020
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