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Graduate Research Assistant

McGill University

Ariel Swan is a Master’s student at McGill University. After receiving her B.A. from the University of Michigan, she moved to Montreal both for school and to be part of the city’s amazing music scene. She is focusing her thesis on designing a series of workshops that combine issues of social justice for marginalized youths and music improvisation. Currently she is an ICASP research assistant at Musikaddict, an improvisation workshop held at a drop-in center in Montreal. She performs regularly in town and has played with several bands, including Little Scream, Heirloom, and her own self-titled project.

Improvisation is, simply put, being and living this very moment. No one can hide in music, and improvising in music is to be truly in this very moment and being completely yourself, with all your qualities and faults. It is probably the most honest state for a human being to be in.

– John McLaughlin in an interview with Daniel Fischlin.