chapter  11
Improvisational Conduct and Case Studies from the Margins: An Insider’s View on Negotiating the Collective
ByPetter Frost Fadnes
Pages 22

What follows is a case study on post-World War II collectives in Europe, exemplified by the Norwegian, Stavanger-based Kitchen Orchestra (2005) and UK’s Leeds Improvised Music Association (LIMA, 2005). The study attempts to capture the inner workings of the two collectives, with a main emphasis on the musicians’ point of view. Indeed-as the title states-this is an insider’s view; I was actively involved in setting up both LIMA and Kitchen Orchestra, and my aim here is to represent the experiential perspective in studying these two collective voices.2 Through specific examples I hope to reveal some of the organizational and artistic efforts behind these groupings, and will frame this research in a multi-disciplined theoretical context, highlighting what I see as a much-needed multi-faceted approach. The analysis is centered around a few key topics: aspects of organizational structure; cross-cultural influences; and musical aesthetics. With this in mind, improvisation is the all-important common denominator throughout. The collectives in question are founded on the enthusiasm for collective improvisation. I will scrutinize their communal effort as an improvisational playground, where musicians seemingly are bound together by a strong improvisational-aesthetic glue. Following on from the

initial citation by John Stevens, writer and violinist Nachmanovitch explains: “It is as though we have become a group organism that has its own nature and its own way of being, from a unique and unpredictable place which is the group personality or group brain.”3