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186 Chapter 9 Iâm not thinking... [and] itâs the wrong term for this work. There is no thinking happening. Or maybe we call it intuitive thinking or something. [...] Itâs somehow connected to the body, and is connected to the experience and... to responding to some things that are already happening. So itâs more a responsive thinking, if you want to call it [that]. Or intuitive responsive thinking, then, rather than âThe composition has to go this direction because...â. [...] Itâs not coming this way. One listener compared such âsub-consciousâ, ârealâ improvising to martial arts or driving a car, adding: I think thatâs one of the principles of the whole thing... you learn, you learn, you learn the technique, but to master the technique you have to forget what you learn. And I think at least for my perception, itâs [about] the people who forgot... what they learned, and simply do - like you drive a car - you donât think about driving a car. [...] The technique is no question, the thing is no question... it grows out of itself. Conventions, Expectations, Experience and the Field Despite these somewhat romantic accounts of the exact cognitive mechanics of ârealâ improvisation, it was nonetheless clear that the possibility of collective music-making in this context took place within an underlying framework of trust, shared expectation and mutual understanding. Most musicians offered detailed explanations of the scenarios in which ârealâ improvising functioned best, and it is these expectations that I propose as the conventions underlying and facilitating ârealâ Improvised Music practice. These conventions, although generally not verbalised or explicitly taught,9 allowed ârealâ improvisers to trust that the others wouldnât just do âanythingâ (to the contrary, it affirmed that they had a common goal in mind in the creation of a unified musical work, even if the precise nature of that work was, as yet, unknown), and allowed them to co-operate in the creation of certain âdirectionsâ (to use Voutchkovaâs term) that their colleagues would identify, respond to and develop during a section, piece or entire performance. It was a responsibility and expectation that these directions would be recognised and followed (that improvisers would not switch chaotically between materials and would and not with scientific accuracy. A more in-depth study of these interview materials from the point of view of Cognitive Psychology would be a subject worthy of future research. 9 In most cases these conventions appear to have be transmitted and learnt through repeated listening and âdoingâ, as described in Chapter 7. Some younger musicians also told me that a handful of older musicians refused to discuss their practice entirely, insisting that their proteÌgeÌes âfound their answers in the musicâ.