Level 5 - Rocking the advanced chops and pushing the envelope
I (Briony) study at level 5, and am increasingly finding and cultivating my peer community. I continually study music. For example, I just transcribed this piece of Abdullah Ibrahim by ear and now I’m trying to figure out what on earth he’s doing.
Here’s how I’d define level 5:
Ok. Give me a refresher of levels 3-4; and then I want to work with 16th note, oddmeter and polyrhythmic patterns with emphasis on accent subtlety, nuance, speed, interlocking, holding my pattern against other people’s contrasting patterns, listening, understanding what’s happening, relaxing within complexity, and inhabiting the music at a good pace; staying somatically calm while the music is getting complex and fast.
Agility; staying deeply in my body as I’m doing increasingly complex things. I’m transcribing one jazz solo a month by ear and I’m getting my voice around it, and music from other cultures, and have a daily practice of mad-seeming scales exploring non-diatonic harmonic progressions articulated through all the varieties of arpeggiated 7th chords.
Harmony: I’m taking what’s in level 4 and I’m applying it to emergent improvisation and studies over and over and over again. I’m beginning to study non-diatonic harmony and modulation as a vocal improviser, and applying crunchy chords as an intuitive improviser and as a composer.
I do not yet explicitly teach to Level 5. Level 5 folks will likely get a lot out of Level 4 events. If we have a sufficient crew of Level 5 folks who want to study at this level, we could collaborate, apply for arts council funding, and invite the best teachers in the world to help us up our game together. Interested?? Feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.