What can everyday aesthetics teach us about jazz practice?

Authors

  • Michael Fletcher Birmingham City University/Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jazz.38246

Keywords:

jazz practice, jazz performance, phenomenology

Abstract

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains how the evolving field of everyday aestheticsseeks to offer an alternative to the 'tendency to equate aesthetics with the philosophyof art' by arguing that aesthetic experiences are present in many aspects of dailylife. Furthermore, the article highlights the fact that often what counts as an everydayactivity for one person might be much more unusual for another. Consequently, despitethe fact that there are some activities that are largely common to all of us-eating, sleeping-it should also be acknowledged that context plays a vital role in the discourse onthe everyday. In this article I will examine how concepts that arise in the discourse oneveryday aesthetics relate to the understanding of contemporary jazz performance practice.I will focus on how the daily practice and performance of jazz gives rise to a numberof areas of conceptual questioning, and consider how everyday aesthetics might serveas a model for contextualizing the numerous methodological components of jazz performancepractice. Citing examples from the work of historical musicians-Lee Konitzand Steve Lacy-as well as from my own practice, and with reference to the daily activitiesof instrumental study, group rehearsal and repeated performance, I will present areading of jazz performance practice that seeks to challenge conventional distinctionsbetween the artistic and the everyday.

Author Biography

Michael Fletcher, Birmingham City University/Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Dr Mike Fletcher is a saxophonist, composer and postdoctoral researcher atRoyal Birmingham Conservatoire/BCU. He locates his practice within the fields of jazzand improvised music, and his main research interests are the creative processes andconceptual implications of composing for improvising jazz musicians.

References

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Bruser, Madeline (1997) The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart. Michigan: Bell Tower.

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Gloag, Kenneth (2012) Postmodernism in Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hamilton, Andy (2007) Lee Konitz: Conversations on the Improviser’s Art. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. https://doi.org/10.3998/mpub.130264

Lacy, Steve (1994) Findings: My Experience with the Soprano Saxophone. Paris: CMAP.

Leddy, Thomas (2012) The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: The Aesthetics of Everyday Life. Ontario: Broadview Press.

—(2015) ‘Experience of Awe: An Expansive Approach to Everyday Aesthetics’. Contemporary Aesthetics 13. http://contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=727 (accessed 28 November 2018).

Melchionne, Kevin (2013) ‘The Definition of Everyday Aesthetics’. Contemporary Aesthetics 11. https://contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=663 (accessed 28 November 2018).

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice (2014) Phenomenology of Perception. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203720714

Naukkarinen, Ossi (2013) ‘What is “Everyday” in Everyday Aesthetics?’ Contemporary Aesthetics 11. http://contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=675 (accessed 28 November 2018).

Saito, Yuriko (2015) ‘Aesthetics of the Everyday’. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aesthetics-of-everyday/ (accessed 27 November 2018).

Published

2020-02-14

How to Cite

Fletcher, M. (2020). What can everyday aesthetics teach us about jazz practice?. Jazz Research Journal, 13(1-2), 33–50. https://doi.org/10.1558/jazz.38246