- St. Mary's
Refusing to imitate is nonsense? That's just bizarre.
The notion of freedom that you are alluding to has awful echoes of amateur players (and artists) who refuse to imitate lest it corrupt the purity of their own expression.
Refusing to imitate is not freedom though
I'm not sure that every free player is aiming for melody anyway,
I have fond memories of a gig with Derek Bailey. He had this piece worked out so it wasn’t entirely free. The instructions were “start quiet and end loud.”
But just before going on stage he totally threw everyone by changing it to “start loud and end quietly.”