Ashley Cross is an improvising guitar player specialising in jazz, originally composed music and self organising or free music. He is a graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts, earning his Masters of Music at that institution in 1999. Ashley has developed an approach to the electric guitar that draws on jazz and classical traditions as well as other electric guitar idioms but infuses some of his own ideas about how the electric guitar should sound. His main musical pursuits are in the area of small interactive ensembles playing original compositions, jazz standards and self organising free improvisations. He has freelanced extensively throughout the Melbourne area playing both originally conceived music and the standard jazz repertoire. His playing can be heard on the recordings 'Eyes and Instinct' and 'Bare' by the ensemble 'Zeno's Wig', 'Terrestrial' by the ensemble 'CHV' and 'Satellite' by the ensemble 'CLV'. His chief musical interest at the current time relates to the very processes of improvisation itself, particularly in relation to the development of long term memory, specifically non - declarative memory and how this impacts on a musicians ability to construct 'mental representations of music'; the ability of the brain (and body) to create what the improvisor is about to play in as much detail as possible including timbre, articulation, dynamics, pitch relationships and perhaps the most interesting of all, rhythmic placement and accent. As a teacher Ashley encourages students to find their own path in music based on a solid understanding of the underlying principles of improvised music (including its neurological processes) alongside a clear understanding of the history of the music from both a national and international perspective, giving students an awareness of how the music they play and compose works within the context of their surrounding culture.