Skip to Content

McGill Site Coordinator, Executive Committee Member, Management Team Member, Co-investigator

McGill University

Prof. Lewis’ research focuses on the intersection of the aesthetics, metaphysics and ethics of improvised music. Recent publications include “Ontology, Originality and the Musical Work: Copyright Law and the Status of Samples” in New Perspectives on Copyright (2007), and “We Won’t Get Fooled Again – Music and Politics in Paris and Woodstock the Summer of ‘69” in Proceedings of the 12th Biennial International Association for the Study of Popular Music (2003). He is presently completing two book manuscripts entitled, Other Worlds – Towards a Philosophy of Jazz and Intents and Purposes – Improvisational Practices in the Arts. He also plays trumpet in Montreal's flourishing improvised music scene. Dr. Lewis earned honours BAs in the history of philosophy and classical Greek literature at Cornell University and a PhD in the history of philosophy at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

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.