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Playing Together: Four Levels of Improvisation and Two Axes of Appreciation 187 stay within the confines of each âfieldâ), and these expectations enabled the collective generation of form, coherence and narrative over the course of each piece, and each performance.10 âFieldâ was a term used extensively by Burkhard Beins, Michael Thieke and Andrea Neumann,11 and each âfieldâ (specific to each group) was defined by the tastes, materials and shared interests of its members, as well as by the groupâs history and experience. This knowledge made it possible to focus, limit and predict musical outcomes, as well as to identify common ground for exploration and development, and, as a result, as listener David Diaz pointed out: If itâs a concert where the ingredients... are going to be Andrea Neumann and Burkhard Beins, you know what to expect. For long-term groups and collaborations, knowledge of the Field allowed musicians to develop ever-deeper into specific areas, Andrea Neumann describing how: When you play with somebody you donât know, then... while youâre playing you find out what is the field, and when you know somebody before, then you know the elements better, what they are into.12 And, for Matthias MuÌller, the trust created in such long-term musical relationships was comparable to a strong friendship: A good example, I think, is if you have a good conversation with friends. Then itâs like you can argue with them [and] we can fight about something, but... Iâm sure that I can count on you, that you would help me get up again after youâve knocked me out! For this reason, many experienced improvisers preferred working in long-running groups,13 Olaf Rupp noting that, in this case, âmany misunderstandings are already doneâ. And Jan Roder described how: Then you come to something. And it doesnât matter if in the end it sounds like [Die] EnttaÌuschung, or SoKo [Steidle] or... Phosphor. [...] If they play, 10 The German term Konsequent (lit. âconsistentâ) was often used to applaud a âgoodâ performance specifically that the musicians took one idea and stuck to it. See pp. 155 and 119 for other references to the âfieldâ. 11 The term âFieldâ was used mainly in English, and is distinct from the English translation of Bourdieuâs champ, or (sociological) Field (see footnote, p. 265). 12 Tobias Delius added that even in the case of first-time collaborations, âGenuine, completely first meetings are seldom. [...] Either youâve either heard the person before, or... somehow, by association, you can imagine a little bit what youâre [getting] into, whatâs going to come.â 13 Although some listeners preferred the excitement of âfirst meetingâ concerts, more experienced improvisers mostly saw local first meetings (as opposed to âall-starâ meetings at festivals) as social meeting-points, open rehearsals, opportunities to experiment with new projects, and to test whether or not they could still be âstrongâ (see p. 190) in less secure situations (as Antonio Borghini put it, âTo keep this kind of intensity, even when my fellow players are not thereâ). Such concerts were also held to be important for younger musicians looking to gain playing experience and social connections.