I just came upon this video of Jody Fisher briefly discussing music and improvisation. His final thought in the clip struck me:
When I'm doing a performance, there's nothing rehearsed. I don't even know what I'm going to play when I walk on stage, ever.... I listen to the way the guitar is sounding in that particular room, the way certain keys sound in certain rooms, and that's what makes me decide what I'm going to play.
I think that's a profound approach. I've never thought of it like that before. It's always seemed like the room either enhances or detracts from my performance, that it's just a passive characteristic of the complete experience. But I can instead choose to interact with it. I can embrace any kind of room in which I find myself and allow it to shape my playing. Even when I'm not improvising, it's comforting and empowering to know that the room affects not only how my playing is perceived, but how and what I play.