The Art of Is: Improvising as a Way of Life

The Art of Is: Improvising as a Way of Life


Author: Stephen Nachmanovitch | Paperback

A critically acclaimed musician and teacher presents a guide to the dynamics of improvisation.

"A beautiful book, full of power, full of life, written from the deep experience of an artist and a wise person."
-- Joan Halifax, abbot, Upaya Zen Center

The Art of Is IS real ART! It is so lucid, grand, kind, easygoing, and deeply helpful, I could 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 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. Stephen Nachmanovitch takes us with him on his life-walk of love in music all over the world. He delivers us to a place of 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, co-founder of Tibet House

"Stephen Nachmanovitch brings forty years of practicing improv to the page and offers a rich trove, hard-won and long-pondered. In graceful prose that reflects not only his talking the talk but walking the walk, he explores the art of being present. You'll finish the book enriched by his experiences studying under Zen masters and his mentor, the great polymath Gregory Bateson, and teaching aspiring improvisers all over the world."
-- Randy Fertel, author of A Taste for Chaos: The Art of Literary Improvisation