The Art of Is Lib/E: Improvising as a Way of Life

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Product Details

$76.00  $69.92
Blackstone Publishing
Publish Date
Compact Disc
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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. He is the author of writings, books, music, multimedia works, and computer software in a variety of fields. He holds a BA from Harvard and a PhD from the University of California-Santa Cruz.

Robertson Dean has played leading roles on and off Broadway and at dozens of regional theaters throughout the country. He has a BA from Tufts University and an MFA from Yale. His audiobook narration has garnered ten AudioFile Earphones Awards. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he works in film and television in addition to narrating.


The Art of Is is real art! It is so lucid, grand, kind, easy-going, and deeply helpful, Icould not stop reading it, even in time I did not have! It is full of surprises, gems, and open ended inspirations. It starts from the fun moment of Mahalia Jackson's startling outburst to MLK Jr. catapulting his I have a dream... speech into the improvisation of a soaring liberation of the spirit that it was. Steve takes us with him on his life-walk of love in music all over the world. He delivers us to a place of a new vitality in our own lives where we more fully recognize the harmonies at hand. This is a lovely guidebook for our own journeys, helping us appreciate ourselves and each other as the precious human beings endowed with liberty and opportunity that we are!

-- "Robert Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Buddhist Studies, Columbia University, and co-founder of Tibet House US"

A philosophical meditation on living, living fully, living in the present. To the author, an improvisation is a co-creation that arises out of listening and mutual attentiveness, out of a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. It is a product of the nervous system, bigger than the brain and bigger than the body; it is a once-in-a-lifetime encounter, unprecedented and unrepeatable. Drawing from the wisdom of the ages, The Art of Is not only gives the reader an inside view of the states of mind that give rise to improvisation, it is also a celebration of the power of the human spirit that, when exercised with love, immense patience, and discipline, is an antidote to hate.

-- "Yo-Yo Ma, multiaward winning violinist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient"