Music is more than arrangements and carefully constructed songs: it’s alive. An energy of it’s own, music flows through the air, reverberating through the body and affecting the soul. Like a conversation, constant music and sound bombarding the senses is overwhelming and unwelcome. Silence is just as much apart of music as the melody, listening is just as important as playing well.
Outside Forces is a collective force that introduces musicians and people to the art of improvisation serving as a teaching tool, but also as a place to workshop new sounds, creative instrumentation and ear-training in a practical setting.
Outside Forces is open to anyone no matter what your skill level or musical background may be. There are only a few specific guidelines:
Listen. The first and foremost lesson is to hear what is going on and add your own input. What that means is up to you; add as much or as little as you feel comfortable with, but do not force your own agenda on the group. That is: go with the flow.
Be considerate. Listening is important, but just as important is how you interpret the sounds. Just like a conversation, respect people’s space, don’t yell if it’s not heated and don’t dominate, unless you are being fed.
When in doubt: stop. If you are lost in a movement and unsure of where to go next, just stop. The music will often tell you where it’s going or wants to be led. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own little world, but always remember this is a group.
Be open to critique. As much as this is an introduction to many people, it is also a place to hone skills. Open and constructive criticism is welcome and accepted. Event moderators are in place to facilitate critique and keep people in check, but don’t be afraid to tell them what’s wrong, too.
Have fun. This is last but certainly the most important. This time should be time to reflect and recharge. Get lost in the space and tangled in the sounds; tear down any walls and open up to your full potential. At the end of the day Outside Forces is here to help, if there are aspects you don’t like, let someone know. We’re learning, too.
Currently there are two groups of Outside Forces, Chicago and Los Angeles.