Genre: Environment Improvisation
Track 2 was recorded on Dec. 3rd, 2008, at Mo Gan Shan.
Track 4 and 7 were recorded on Dec.4th, 2008, at Mo Gan Shan.
The rest were recorded on May. 30th, 2009, at Qing Liang Feng.
Guitar: GIBSON ES-175
Recorder: ZOOM H4
Recording/Mastering: Li Jianhong
Photography: Fang Xianhai
Design: Chen Feibo
C&P C.F.I Records 2010
Made in China
---Ten Reflections about Environment Improvisation
Environment is part of the ego.
Environment can strike a chord on one’s mood, provoking desires of expressing, involving and communicating. The feedback of mood provides environment with private emotions, and ultimately decides the meaning of the environment.
Thus, a newborn environment with particular meanings emerges in real time. The environment with private emotions then becomes part of the ego of the performer.
There is no meanings in environment itself; meanings are produced by emotions and they are man-made. They are what the performer gives to the environment.
All the sounds and images of the environment with the performer’s emotions have been redefined by the performer. The environment here is not the one in real any longer, but as part of the outcome of the performer’s emotions.
Interaction never exists between environment and human. Environment can stimulate human’s emotions, but environment itself has no emotions. Since the emotion in the environment is also given by human, there is no emotional interaction between environment and human. In ancient China, people took their Qin to play in mountains in order to express their feelings. They only borrowed the environment as a medium for their expression. It is definitely not emotional interaction between human and environment.
The relationship between environment and human is neither opposite nor equal. If the mood is the Buddha, then the environment is the Buddha; if the mood is all, then the environment is all.
Different people staying in the same environment may hear and see the same thing, but they cannot make the same sound. It is because that different people have different moods. The same environment has different meanings to different people. For example, the sound of running water sounds relaxing to some, and sad to the others. Different explorations, choices and feedbacks of various people contribute to the richness and interestedness of environment improvisation.
There are unpredictable matters and uncertainties in the change of environment, which also contribute to the richness and interestedness of environment improvisation. But any change of the environment is processed with the performer’s personal understanding and emotion, which ultimately decide the meanings of the changes of environment.
It is to say, no matter how the environment changes, instead of improvising in the environment in real, the performer is always playing in the environment in which he is searching, exploring, making choices and redefining.
Environment improvisation involves not only simply performing improvised in an environment, but also a particular relationship between the environment and human. The existence of the environment serves only for the performer, whose emotion is creating and maintaining the meanings of the environment all the time. Once the act of the performer is stopped, the environment will lose its meanings.
The “environment” in environment improvisation dose not only include all the sounds and images that could be heard and seen, but also the sounds and images existing in associations. The “environment” should be a combination of sounds and images both in real and in contemporary associations.
We can improvise with any environment in our life.
There should not be distinctions between natural and unnatural (men-made) environments. Everything in life can be the object and objective of improvisation. The result would be the same – the environment in environment improvisation can only be the outcome of the performer’s emotional feedback.
Environment improvisation is different from filed recording. No matter how much weight environment takes in one piece, environment can only be part of the performer’s emotions and his work. What environment improvisation emphasis on and present with is the emotion of human instead of the environment.
Environment improvisation can be seen as a subgenre of improvisation.
Why to make improvisation in various environments? To be simple, different environments provide different experiences, which can stimulate different emotions on different people.
Since the experiences are different according to different people, I’d better leave this question to those who participate in environment improvisation – “People ask Hanshan about the Tao. Hanshan answers that he doesn’t know.”