Improvisation is the act of making or doing something not planned beforehand, using whatever is available. All the arts, and some non-artistic fields, have forms of improvisation. In writing, it would manifest as stream of consciousness, in music I would say jazz is the mothership. Our lives, in general, oftentimes are improvised. No matter how we want to control or pre-plan, sometimes the Universe has other plans, as in a pandemic, and we adapt, we improvise.
Improvisation is an essential part of my art process. As a matter of fact, I love listening to jazz, and all ramifications of jazz, when I draw. It puts me on the road to creative freedom. I've tried so many other genres of music to create, and I come back to jazz. Most days I live stream WBGO from morning to late afternoon, listening through the Blues Break. Whether it be the improvised sounds of Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, or Miles Davis, the percussive beats of a Latin jazz jam, or scat singing by greats like Ella Fitzgerald, there is nothing like jazz to set me free. For me, drawing and writing, or any creative act is an act of self-expression, freedom of expression, surrendering and allowing the authentic self to be heard, seen, and acknowledged. Improvisation, or allowing the 'flow' of the self to reveal itself without censorship or editorial input, is where I spend much of my creative time and is the reason I choose jazz to accompany me in the journey.
Ana Martinez Orizondo
Artist and culture creative.