John McLaughlin on improvisation (psychology of improvisatory
freedom and expression)
TO REALLY IMPROVISE, TO SAY SOMETHING you feel at this moment, is the
most difficult thing in the world. If you play what you know, then it's
not real. To truly improvise requires you not to know anything, in a
sense. It's a very difficult and obtuse point. You want to have your
knowledge available to you, but the most beautiful thing is to play
something for the first time in your life. In this state of mind you
see everything before you, every possibility, and you feel you have the
ability to move down any avenue you wish--all are suddenly open to you.
Music opens the avenues, places you've never been. That can happen in
your imagination, but when it occurs in music it's wonderful, because
it happens not only inside, but outside at the same moment. It's magic.