A few years back I was lucky enough to see the Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero perform. She is a classical pianist. And she improvises. The first thing she did was invite the audience to sit anywhere. Many joined her on stage. Some even sat under the piano.
I am in Cambodia this week, working on collaboration. I was invited only last week, to work with a co-facilitator I hadn't met, for a client I don't know in a field I am completely ignorant of (disaster relief management).
I saw the Leonardo exhibition at the National Gallery in London over the holidays, which was fabulous, though reminiscent of looking at great art on a rush hour tube, so crowded was the space. I was struck by how significant two pieces of improv practice were in the masters work - collaboration and being willing to be changed.
Where I live people are really struggling. There is little work and less prospect of work. And yet I have had a good year. Which is a bit tricky. For most of the year I have tried to be positive (without gloating) and to do what little I can to spend money locally and employ local people. Whilst being sensitive to what’s happening around me, it also seemed important not slip into negativity myself.