It’s easy to assume that Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous and endlessly influential “I Have a Dream” speech was pre-scripted, vetted by others, written and re-written. It was not. Instead it was given on the fly, when from the audience Mahalia Jackson urged King off his prepared text. The result has inspired millions. In this breath-of-fresh-air thinking about how to cultivate the kind of game-changing creativity everyone seeks, Stephen Nachmanovitch shows exactlyhow the passion and immediacy of improvisation can be cultivated and how, in fact, we all improvise all the time — whether we are driving or deep in conversation. He explores ideas about being in the moment and reacting to people as they are, finding gold in unexpected distractions and roadblocks, and not only accepting but also celebrating imperfections in everyday practices. This creative mindfulness also makes innovation the province not of solitary geniuses but the result of engagement and interaction — and makes clear that improvising, creating, innovating are only of value when rooted in an ethical and social foundation. The results, Nachmanovitch shows, foster meaningful change and invention — and may just ignite a dream.
About the Author:
Stephen Nachmanovitch, a pioneer in free improvisation on violin, viola, and electric violin, performs internationally and teaches widely on creativity and the spiritual underpinnings of art. The author of writings, music, multimedia works, and computer software in a variety of fields, he holds a BA from Harvard and a PhD from UC Santa Cruz. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.