Advertisement

A frame of analysis for collective free improvisation on the bridge between Husserl’s phenomenology of time and some recent readings of the predictive coding model

  • Lucia AngelinoEmail author
Article

Abstract

The kind of collective improvisation attained by the “free jazz” at the beginning of the sixties sets a challenge to analytic theories of collective intentionality, that emphasize the role played by future-directed plans in the interlocking and interdependent intentions (and attitudes) of the individual participants, because in the free jazz case the performers’ interdependence or [interplay] stems from an intuitive understanding between musicians. Otherwise said: what happens musically is not planned in advance, but arises from spontaneous interactions in the group. By looking at the way jazz improvisers take up the challenge of making music together without a pre-conceived notion as to what kind of effect they will achieve and without a pre-set code of agreements (related to theme, chord patterns and chorus lengths), my aim has been to clarify what kind of strategies — other than advanced action plans and joint commitments — are used by improvising musicians to integrate their improvisations into a unified shared activity. In developing this proposal I initially drawn pre-theoretically on one paradigmatic study case — Ornette Coleman’s double quartet Free Jazz, A collective Improvisation (1960) and brought it in conversation with Husserl’s phenomenology of time. In a final move, I brought this phenomenological frame into dialogue with some recent readings of the predictive coding model. All in all, what we learned from the Free Jazz case is that the interdependence and interlocking of attitudes among individual participants characteristic of shared intention is not determined by a future-directed plan and the rational pressure to be responsive to and coordinate with others, it typically engages. Rather, in the free jazz case, the performers’ connection and interplay depend on the players’ readiness to feel each other out, by listening to each other playing, in a way that no doubt presupposes the Husserlian retention-protention scheme.

Keywords

Phenomenology of time Collective free improvisation Collective intentionality Collective action Temporal affordances Husserl Schutz Predictive coding model 

Notes

Funding information

This paper has received funding from the AIAS-COFUND II fellowship programme that is supported by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 (Grant agreement no 754513) and the Aarhus University Research Foundation.

References

  1. Bayer, A. C. (1997). Doing Things With Others: The Mental Commons. In L. Alanen, S. Heinamaa, & T. Wallgren (Eds.), Commonality and Particularity in Ethics. Macmillan Press LTD.Google Scholar
  2. Bratman, M. (1993) Shared Intention, Ethics, vol. 104, n 1, 1993, pp. 107–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bratman, M. (1999). Faces of intentions: Selected essays on intention and agency. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bratman, M. (2009). Shared agency. In C. Mantzavinos (Ed.), Philosophy of the social sciences: Philosophical theory and scientific practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 41–59.Google Scholar
  5. Bratman, M. (2014). Shared Agency. A planning theory of acting together. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bruineberg, J., & Rietveld, E. (2014). Self-organization, free energy minimization, and optimal grip on a field of affordances. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8.Google Scholar
  7. Canonne, C., & Garnier, N. (2011). A model for collective free improvisation. In C. Agon, M. Andreatta, et al. (Eds.), Mathematics and computation in music. Third international conference MCM, 2011 proceedings, Berlin. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  8. Clark, A. (2013). Whatever next ? Predictive brains, situated agents, and the future of cognitive science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36(3), 181–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clarke, D. (2011). Music and consciousness: Philosophical, psychological, and cultural perspectives. In D. Clarke & E. Clarke (Eds.), Music and consciousness: Philosophical, psychological, and cultural perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1–28.Google Scholar
  10. Clarke, Eric F. (2012). What’s Going On: Music, Psychology and Ecological Theory. In M. Clayton, T. Herbert & R. Middleton (Eds.), The Cultural Study of Music: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 333–342.Google Scholar
  11. Coleman, O. (1959). Liner notes to The Change of the Century, New York: Atlantic Recording.Google Scholar
  12. Derrida, J. (2011). Voice and phenomenon. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Evans B. (1959). Improvisation in Jazz, Liner notes from the original 1959 LP release, published in the Booklet of Kind of Blue and also available on-line at the following address: https://www.sfjazz.org/onthecorner/bill-evans-kind-blue-liner-notes/. Consulted on-line on 04.09.2019
  14. Friston, K. (2007). The Free-Energy principle: a rough guide to the brain? Trends in cognitive sciences, vol. 13, n. 7, 293-301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Friston, K. (2010). The free-energy principle: A unified brain theory? Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11, 127-138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Friston, K, Mattout, J. Kilner, J., (2011) Action understanding and active inference. Biological Cybernetics 104 (1-2):137-160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Friston, K., & Frith, C. D. (2015a). Active inference, communication and hermeneutics. Cortex, 68, 129–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Friston, K., & Frith, C. D. (2015b). A duet for one. Consciousness and Cognition, 36, 390–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Frith, C. D., & Wentzer, T. S. (2013). Neural hermeneutics. In B. Kaldis (Ed.), Encyclopedia of philosophy and the social sciences. London: Sage, 657–659.Google Scholar
  20. Gallagher, S., & Allen, M. (2018). Active inference, enactivism and the hermeneutics of social cognition. Synthese, 195, 2627–2648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gilbert, M. (1989). On social facts. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Gilbert, M. (1990). Walking together: A paradigmatic social phenomena. Midwest studies in Philosophy, 15, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gilbert, M. (1996). Concerning sociality: The plural subject as paradigm. In J. Greenwood (Ed.), The mark of the Social. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  24. Gilbert, M. (2003). The structure of the social atom: Joint commitment and the Foundation of Human Social Behavior. In F. Schmitt (Ed.), Socializing Metaphysics. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  25. Gioia, T. (1988). The imperfect art. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hagberg, G. L. (2006). Jazz improvisation: A mimetic art? Revue Internationale de Philosophie Vol., 238, 163–181.Google Scholar
  27. Hagberg, G. L. (2016). Improvisation, Collective Intention, and Group Attention. In G. E. Lewis & B. Piekut (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 481–450.Google Scholar
  28. Hagberg, G. L. (2018). The ensemble as plural subject: Jazz Improvisation, collective intention and Group Agency. In E. F. Clarke & M. Doffman (Eds.), Distributed creativity, Collaboration and Improvisation in Contemporary Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 300–316.Google Scholar
  29. Husserl, E. (1964). The Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness, trans. James S. Churchill, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  30. Lawlor, L. (2018). An immense power: The three phenomenological insights supporting Derridean deconstruction. In D. Zahavi (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of the history of phenomenology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Linson, A., & Clarke, E. F. (2017). Distributed cognition, ecological theory and group improvisation. In E. F. Clarke & M. Doffman (Eds.), Distributed Creativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Linson, A., Clark, A., Ramamoorthy, S., & Friston, K. (2018). The active inference approach to ecological perception: General information dynamics for natural and artificial embodied cognition. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 5.Google Scholar
  33. Merleau-Ponty, M. (2013). Phenomenology of Perception (1945). London & NY: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Meyer, L. (1956). Emotion and meaning in music. Chicago: University Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  35. Monson, I. (1996). Saying something: jazz improvisation and interaction. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago press.Google Scholar
  36. Montague, E. (2011). Phenomenology and the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness and music. In D. Clarke & E. Clarke (Eds.), Music and Consciousness: philosophical, psychological, and cultural perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 29–46.Google Scholar
  37. Narmour, E. (1990). The analysis and cognition of basic melodic structures: The implication realization model. Chicago: University Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  38. Pacherie, E. (2006). Towards a Dynamic Theory of Intentions. In S. Pocket, W. P. Banks, & S. Gallagher (Eds.), Does Consciousness Cause Behavior? An Investigation of the Nature of Volition. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  39. Pacherie, E. (2014). How does it feel to act together? Phenom Cogn Sci, 13, 25–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pacherie, E. (2012). The Phenomenology of Joint Action: Self-Agency vs Joint-Agency. In A. Seemann (Ed.), Joint Attention: New Developments. Cambridge: MIT Press, 343–389.Google Scholar
  41. Preston, B. (2013). A philosophy of material culture. London & NY: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ramstead, M., et al. (2016). Cultural affordances: Scaffolding worlds through shared intentionality and regimes of attention. Frontiers in Psychology, 7.Google Scholar
  43. Roepstorff, A. & Frith C. (2004). What’s at the top in the top-down control of action? Script-sharing and ‘top-top’ control of action in cognitive experiments. Psychological Research, 68(2–3), 189–198.Google Scholar
  44. Roepstorff, A. (2013). Interactively human: Sharing time, construing materiality. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36(3), 224–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schütz, A. (1971). Making music together: A study in social relationship. In Collected papers II. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 159–179.Google Scholar
  46. Sebanz, et al. (2006). Joint Action : Bodies and Minds Moving together. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10(2).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tollefsen D. (2002) “Collective Intentionality”, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Vol. 32, n. 1, pp. 25–50, also published on-line in Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2004). https://www.iep.utm.edu/coll-int/. Consulted on-line on 04.09.2019.
  48. Tollefsen, D. (2014). A Dynamic Theory of Shared Intention and the Phenomenology of Joint Action. In S. R. Chant, F. Hindriks, & G. Preyer (Eds.), From Individual to Collective Intentionality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 13–33.Google Scholar
  49. Williams, M. (1960). Liner notes to The Ornette Coleman Double Quartet Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation. New York: Atlantic Recording.Google Scholar
  50. Wittgenstein, L. (2009). Philosophical investigation. Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester.Google Scholar
  51. Zahavi, D. (2010). Inner (Time-) Consciousness. In D. Lohmar & I. Yamaguchi (Eds.), On Time – New Contributions to the Husserlian Phenomenology of Time (pp. 319–339). Springer.Google Scholar
  52. Zahavi, D. (2018). Brain, mind, world: Predictive coding, neo-Kantism, and transcendental idealism. Husserl Studies, 34, 47–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS)Aarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark
  2. 2.University Paris 1 Pantheon – SorbonneParisFrance

Personalised recommendations