ABSTRACT

In order to understand a social phenomenon, we have to consider the human activity as well as the environment that created it.1 Only within this context are we able to understand the meaning and nature of experiences. In this chapter, I will look at the spatial issues which are related to the attainment of flow through the creation of the social and physical spaces in which musicians perform and to which they have to conform. In order to understand jazz musicians’ position in a field characterised by a heterogeneous range of musical genres and performance venues, we need to look more closely at the actual spaces in which they work. This chapter aims to outline the features, both positive and negative, of the venues where musicians go about their daily work. These discussions are connected to flow through the idea of ‘optimal venues’ and the effect these venues can have on musicians’ performances.