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Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art
     

Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art

4.0 8
by Stephen Nachmanovitch
 

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Free Play is about the inner sources of spontaneous creation. It is about where art in the widest sense comes from. It is about why we create and what we learn when we do. It is about the flow of unhindered creative energy: the joy of making art in all its varied forms.

Free Play is directed toward people in any field who want to contact, honor, and

Overview

Free Play is about the inner sources of spontaneous creation. It is about where art in the widest sense comes from. It is about why we create and what we learn when we do. It is about the flow of unhindered creative energy: the joy of making art in all its varied forms.

Free Play is directed toward people in any field who want to contact, honor, and strengthen their own creative powers. It integrates material from a wide variety of sources among the arts, sciences, and spiritual traditions of humanity. Filled with unusual quotes, amusing and illuminating anecdotes, and original metaphors, it reveals how inspiration arises within us, how that inspiration may be blocked, derailed or obscured by certain unavoidable facts of life, and how finally it can be liberated - how we can be liberated - to speak or sing, write or paint, dance or play, with our own authentic voice.

The whole enterprise of improvisation in life and art, of recovering free play and awakening creativity, is about being true to ourselves and our visions. It brings us into direct, active contact with boundless creative energies that we may not even know we had.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Stephen Nachmanovitch has produced a celebration of human uniqueness. What it amounts to is a guide for gettingthe most out of whatever is possible"
—Norman Cousins, author of The Anatomy of an Illness

"This is an unusually intense, packed, thought-through book on the most difficult subject in the world: mystic creativity. If you wantto be intellectually informed about how people actually craete things, then you should read it at least once."
—Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

"Would that Free Play found its way into every school, office, hospital, and factory. It is a most exciting book and a most important one."
—Yehudi Menuhin, violinist

"Nachmanovitch tells it like it is in the most important book on improvisation I've yet seen."
—Keith Jarrett, pianist

"Free Play is a superb guide for anyone who aspires to create, whatever medium."
—New Woman

"This book is important not only because it delves into the creative process, but also because Nachmanovitch creates the opportunity for the reader to get in touch with her/his own creative possibilities and abilities."
—Harvard Educational Review
 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440673085
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/01/1991
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
393,115
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Table of Contents

 

Title Page

Copyright Page

Epigraph

Acknowledgements

Introduction

 

The Sources

Inspiration and Time’s Flow

The Vehicle

The Stream

The Muse

Mind at Play

Disappearing

 

The Work

Sex and Violins

Practice

The Power of Limits

The Power of Mistakes

Playing Together

Form Unfolding

 

Obstacles and Openings

Childhood’s End

Vicious Circles

The Judging Spectre

Surrender

Patience

Ripening

 

The Fruits

Eros and Creation

Quality

Art for Life’s Sake

Heartbreakthrough

 

Notes

Bibliography

Illustrations

About the Author

Most Tarcher/Putnam books are available at special quantity
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For details, write Putnam Special Markets
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Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam
a member of
Penguin Putnam Inc.
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www.penguinputnam.com

The author thanks the following for their permission to reprint from copyrighted works.

 

Constance Crown, for Hands by Rico Lebrun.
Walter Gruen, for Musica Solar by Remedios Varo.
Ben Berzinsky, for his photograph of a Carlo Bergonzi violin, c. 1770.
Grateful thanks to the late Arnold Fawcus of the Trianon Press, Paris, for permission to
photograph his magnificent William Blake books.
Artist Rights Society, Inc., for Two Children Drawing and Dawn Song by Pablo Picasso. © ARS
N.Y./SPADEM.
Charles E. Tuttle Co., Tokyo, Japan, for Tomikichiro Tokuriki’s Riding the Bull Home.
North Point Press, for excerpt from Wendell Berry’s essay, Poetry and Marriage.
For M. C. Escher’s Encounter © 1989 M. C. Escher Heirs/Cordon Art, Baarn, Holland.
Excerpts from “Burnt Norton” and “Little Gidding” in Four Quartets, © 1943 by T. S. Eliot
and renewed 1971 by Esme Valerie Eliot, .
Excerpt from The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life. Introduction by Carl Jung,
translated and explained by Richard Wilhelm, .
Excerpt from A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, © 1929 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,
Inc. and renewed 1957 by Leonard Woolf, .
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Nachmanovitch, Stephen.
Free play; improvisation in life and art / Stephen Nachmanovitch

 

p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN: 9781440673085

1. Creation (Literary, artistic, etc.) 2. Improvisation (Music)
I. Title.
BH301.C84N-49303
153.3’5-dc2O CIP

 

Copyright © 1990 by Stephen Nachmanovitch

Paint as you like and die happy.

HENRY MILLER

Acknowledgments

The following are only a few of the many friends and colleagues whose support, criticism, ideas, and other contributions were vital to the creation of this book:

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Stephen Nachmanovitch has produced a celebration of human uniqueness. What it amounts to is a guide for gettingthe most out of whatever is possible"
—Norman Cousins, author of The Anatomy of an Illness

"This is an unusually intense, packed, thought-through book on the most difficult subject in the world: mystic creativity. If you wantto be intellectually informed about how people actually craete things, then you should read it at least once."
—Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

"Would that Free Play found its way into every school, office, hospital, and factory. It is a most exciting book and a most important one."
Yehudi Menuhin, violinist

"Nachmanovitch tells it like it is in the most important book on improvisation I've yet seen."
Keith Jarrett, pianist

"Free Play is a superb guide for anyone who aspires to create, whatever medium."
—New Woman

"This book is important not only because it delves into the creative process, but also because Nachmanovitch creates the opportunity for the reader to get in touch with her/his own creative possibilities and abilities."
—Harvard Educational Review
 

Meet the Author

Stephen Nachmanovitch is a musician, author, computer artist, and educator. He is an improvisational violinist, and writes and teaches about improvisation, creativity, and systems approaches in many fields of activity

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Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is informative and descriptive about the art process of Acting as well as everyday life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the most articulate description of the creative process ever written. It is about Zen and Jazz and Creating, whether creating Art or creating a Life. Important for anyone learning to live one day at a time. Life-changing.