First Stage: 2020-2022 : PRACTICE-BASED RESEARCH ON MUSICAL IMPROVISATION: COLLABORATIVE IMPROVISATION AS A PLAY Ph.D Thesis, ISTANBUL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY (ITU) GRADUATE SCHOOL, ITU Music For Advanced Studies (MIAM), 2022
The study seeks to connect play and collective improvisation, and propose play as a creative tool for improvisation to contribute to the field. The thesis offers newly designed improvisatory collaborative plays and provides a methodology to create improvisatory plays, workshop techniques, and a tool-box for collective practices. For the purpose of this thesis, several plays that focus on different sensorial effects were developed, applied and documented. Emotion Play, collaborated with an industrial designer, Gülen Mine Demiralp, aimed to increase emotional awareness and practice it with tactile, auditory and visual components. In Re-Thinking Objects, collaborated with play expert and futurist Yeşim Kunter, transforming everyday objects into sound sources were used to create improvisation. The Listen Before Play focuses mainly on the importance of supporting the listening acts during improvisation. As many extensive listening exercises focus on, this play is an attempt to focus on listening to the sound which the performer produces, as well as listening to the collaborators. In Graphic Notation, group members’ creative interpretation processes aimed to be increased and the practice offers visual and auditory projection. For the workshop, a specific type of notation was offered to observe different interpretations of a single script. The play Maintain Balance focuses on body movements, and by making body movements active within a group dynamic, it aims to investigate an embodied practice, which was developed in collaboration with martial arts expert Çağlayan Ceylan. The last two plays, namely Voicing A Letter and Upside-Down, experiment with the idea of exploring new approaches and performance techniques. These two plays aimed to increase awareness of the members by using their own voices, and by rethinking and experimenting with their instruments, it aimed to explore new performance capabilities. Musical analysis of the improvisation sessions are left outside the scope of this work as the main focus is on developing group dynamics and improving improvisation. To investigate the musical and intellectual preferences of selected Turkish improvising musicians, oral interviews were conducted and transcribed in the appendix section that contains various insights and personal views on improvisation and the concept of play. Finally, a set of play instructions as a toolbox has been provided to would present guidance and help in creative works and education scenarios have been proposed as the main outcome of the work.