Responding is not the same as reacting. Reacting is a reflex action, which addresses the general nature of the situation. Responding implies choice and specificity. This is a relevant difference for real-time composition. Spontaneity is often understood as following the first impulse, something that is generally valued in improvisation. However, if there is the intention of composing something, following the first impulse reduces the possibilities. Allowing the space to really receive the stimulus generates the conditions for a response rather than a reaction. This might at first take noticeably longer, but the more we practice being porous to receiving, the faster we get and the nimbler we become at responding and exercising choice.


María Ferrara



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