Maybe it’s all about meditation. A wise woman once told me that Music is the highest form of meditation.
There certainly is a lot in meditation technique that mirrors proper instrumental performance methodology. Meditation has taught me a lot about playing bass. Playing bass has taught me a lot about meditation. Improvisation relies very heavily on many of the fundamental principals of meditation, specifically, the concepts of Focus and Detatchment are central to the task of the improvisor. To improvise dynamically, the musician must be in the moment – devotedly focused on what is, rather than what has passed or what is to follow. Likewise, the improvising musician must also be free from assumptions about that which they are a part of creating and refrain from indulging in the need to command and control.