Check out the video.
A brilliant game for listening and developing group mind is The Oracle. It’s a mini-version of Word At A Time Story, which features in my earlier blog posts. An Oracle is a mystical creature, who you can ask any question to….the answers are sometimes a little unexpected…check out me and some friends performing an Oracle at a recent show at The Nightingale Theatre in Brighton, UK.
One of my favourite music improv games is called Pointing Song. It’s a great exercise for listening, collaborating and thinking outside the box.
It’s a game that works best with 6-10 people. We get an audience suggestion for a theme and then each person comes up with a riff – this can be percussive, a melody line, some kind of bass, something on the off beat, loud, quiet, fast, slow, anything – so long as it fits with the accompaniment which is very open. It’s good to think about something with more than one meaning, something more philosophical perhaps.
Somebody is nominated the director and they point at people in turn to sing their riff, as the game progresses, people are pointed at in 2′s, 3′s, 4′s and more and eventually it has everyone singing their riff together and ultimately, all changing to one single riff, using the power of group mind (and listening!)
In this example from a show, we were given Archaeology as a subject. This was the result….
Well, if you have The Blues, then music improv is surely the way to cure them. I challenge anyone to try some music improv and not end up laughing. By definition it is fun and funny. It doesn’t matter if you are an entirely rubbish singer or an accomplished one, it doesn’t even matter if you can rhyme or not, all that matters is committing to the game/scene and going for it. I’m sure from an audience point of view, a nice voice and a good rhyme is just a bonus. There is a game called The Blues where we ask the audience to call out bad things that have happened to them recently and then we title it. In this clip, we were given The Automobile Blues. It’s a great example of different skill levels and different approaches to the task.