OK, I’ll confess, I’m a bit of a Montreal snob when it comes to our artistic culture in this town. It’s just that ol’… je ne sais quoi. Case in point: this past weekend I invited my neighbor, who’s new to Montreal, to meet my friend Lori Freedman who was performing in the Murray Street Band–a local band made up of leading Free Jazz/Improve/ Musique Actuelle/New-Music musicians from Montreal and invited guests. Now, the cool classic Montreal thing about the evening (aside from the musical experience) was the chilled, grunge loft environment where the show was held–at l’Envers, in the Mile-End district. It was like hanging out in your living room with 75 friends and relatives. This is not a place to be wearing your fanciest pumps (unless you’re being kitsch).
How does this event relate to my thesis project about education and the need for trans-formative educational practices? Well, listen to this:
If you are new to Free Jazz this sound might seem… chaotic. The style has been around since the 50-60’s and, although I’m not a connoisseur of the movement I’ve learned to understand the practice over the years. These thoroughly accomplished, often classically trained, musicians take to the stage and perform whatever instinctively comes to them in the moment based on the ‘energy’ and performance of their peers; ya, it’s improve with NO intention of melodic creation. Once on stage they are in a sandbox, completely free to produce whatever sound comes to mind… and once they get a taste of this practice it becomes an addictive creative style many can’t live without. Such freedom!
I am, therefore, drawing an analogy to how valuable free thinking is for people. Our ‘industrial’ system of education may try to pump out industrious thinkers but somewhere along the line the craving for creativity and exploring ones natural instincts can becomes deeply necessary, rewarding and addictive. Why not then, make it the starting point in our educational development?
(post photo by: Edwin Monney)