On: Liberty, its limitations and the new freedom that comes with rules
With: Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Hans Dulfer, Isaiah Berlin, Jasper Blom, Spinoza and many other musicians and philosophers
‘A jam is an adventure of freedom and spontaneous interaction. Sometimes. It can also be a tortuous path strewn with discord and confusion. What exactly makes the difference?’
‘How is that possible: these people are playing music together so easily, without any rehearsals, so freely, and it still sounds like… music?’
About the book
Jurriën Rood has a twenty-five year experience of participating in jam sessions as an amateur saxophone player – with all the highs and lows one might expect. As a philosopher, he considers the jam as an experiment in voluntary collaboration, where the participants are unknown to each other. That makes it a wonderful metaphor for public life and the public debate.
The jam session raises questions relevant to us all. Why is voluntary collaboration such a struggle, at times? How many rules do we need here, and what is the role of authority? And first and foremost: are we maybe hampered by a limited conception of freedom? We often think that freedom is constrained by rules, but moving back and forth between music, philosophy and the public domain, the author shows how basic rules instead can create freedom, both in music and in the world at large.