Dr Nick Haywood - Complexity Through Interaction: Identification of the Key Concepts

Over the past thirty years Nick Haywood has become one of the most in demand bassists and educators on the Australian music scene, having performed at major festivals and concerts in Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Europe, China and the USA.

Nick has been a featured artist on approximately 100 CD’s and has been nominated for numerous ARIA awards. He is the 2012 recipient of the Australian Jazz “Bell Award” for Best Australian Contemporary Jazz Album and the 2012 APRA Art Music State Award, for Excellence in Jazz.

Nick currently Senior Lecturer and head of Contemporary Music at the University of Tasmania.

The purpose of this project was to investigate and describe the optimum conditions under which collaborative improvised musical expression in performance can be established.

The study was an examination of performances and recordings of an ensemble in which I perform. The research investigates the impact of the ensemble dynamic on the improvisations of individuals within the ensemble.

The recordings were not analysed in the traditional harmonic, melodic and rhythmic manner, as the focus of this study was the way musicians connect on a personal, and in turn, musical way. There was analysis of the ways in which each participant’s contributions affect their co-performers. Aural perception and the collective musical history of the participants are seen as significant factors and as such were investigated through interviews.

It is proposed that a musician’s familiarity with repertoire should be such that conscious decision making in performance is not required. To this end, there is a need to separate the manner in which a musician accumulates musical knowledge via practice, from the way they present music as a performer.

Four Key Concepts seen as critical to the development of the improvising musician were uncovered and will be discussed in detail in this presentation.

From The Outstanding Field: Artistic Research Emerging from the Academy - A Symposium. 19th — 21st of March 2015.