Skip to Content

  • user warning: Got error 28 from storage engine query: SELECT t.*,v.weight AS v_weight_unused FROM term_node r INNER JOIN term_data t ON r.tid = t.tid INNER JOIN vocabulary v ON t.vid = v.vid WHERE r.vid = 195 ORDER BY v.weight, t.weight, t.name in /srv/www/improvcommunity.ca/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.module on line 640.
  • user warning: Table './improv_public_site/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'research:block_1:results:63585df71747e4a2948d60cefcfc62fa' in /srv/www/improvcommunity.ca/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './improv_public_site/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:2:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":4:{s:3:\"nid\";s:3:\"894\";s:9:\"node_type\";s:8:\"druspace\";s:8:\"node_vid\";s:3:\"894\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:124:\"\"Your bass sounds like a typewriter\": A Reading and Interview with George Elliott Clarke. Accompanied by bassist, David Lee.\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":4:{s:3:\"nid\";s:3:\"958\";s:9:\"node_type\";s:8:\"druspace\";s:8:\"node_vid\";s:3:\"960\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:75:\"Improvisation As a Model For Social Change: Ajay Heble at TEDxGuelphU 2012 \";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";N;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";b:0;s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:2;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:0;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1500597338, expire = 1500597337, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'research:block_1:results:63585df71747e4a2948d60cefcfc62fa' in /srv/www/improvcommunity.ca/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './improv_public_site/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'research:block_1:output:59e0d638ab55255fd58d8190c7f0026d' in /srv/www/improvcommunity.ca/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './improv_public_site/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:4:{s:4:\"head\";s:0:\"\";s:3:\"css\";a:0:{}s:2:\"js\";a:0:{}s:6:\"output\";s:1375:\"<div class=\"view view-research view-id-research view-display-id-block_1 highlights view-dom-id-1\">\n \n \n \n <div class=\"view-content\">\n <ul>\n <li> \n <div class=\"views-field-field-druspace-thumbnails-fid\">\n <div class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/research/your-bass-sounds-typewriter-reading-and-interview-george-elliott-clarke-accompanied-bassist\" class=\"imagecache imagecache-image_thumbnail_238x120 imagecache-linked imagecache-image_thumbnail_238x120_linked\"><img src=\"http://www.improvcommunity.ca/sites/improvcommunity.ca/files/imagecache/image_thumbnail_238x120/screen_shot_2012-05-24_at_11.32.12_am.png\" alt=\"\" title=\"\" width=\"238\" height=\"120\" class=\"imagecache imagecache-image_thumbnail_238x120\"/></a></div>\n </div>\n</li>\n <li> \n <div class=\"views-field-field-druspace-thumbnails-fid\">\n <div class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/research/improvisation-model-social-change-ajay-heble-tedxguelphu-2012\" class=\"imagecache imagecache-image_thumbnail_238x120 imagecache-linked imagecache-image_thumbnail_238x120_linked\"><img src=\"http://www.improvcommunity.ca/sites/improvcommunity.ca/files/imagecache/image_thumbnail_238x120/picture_1.png\" alt=\"\" title=\"\" width=\"238\" height=\"120\" class=\"imagecache imagecache-image_thumbnail_238x120\"/></a></div>\n </div>\n</li>\n </ul> </div>\n \n \n \n \n \n \n</div> \";}', created = 1500597338, expire = 1500597337, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'research:block_1:output:59e0d638ab55255fd58d8190c7f0026d' in /srv/www/improvcommunity.ca/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Got error 28 from storage engine query: SELECT t.*,v.weight AS v_weight_unused FROM term_node r INNER JOIN term_data t ON r.tid = t.tid INNER JOIN vocabulary v ON t.vid = v.vid WHERE r.vid = 686 ORDER BY v.weight, t.weight, t.name in /srv/www/improvcommunity.ca/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.module on line 640.
  • user warning: Got error 28 from storage engine query: SELECT t.*,v.weight AS v_weight_unused FROM term_node r INNER JOIN term_data t ON r.tid = t.tid INNER JOIN vocabulary v ON t.vid = v.vid WHERE r.vid = 923 ORDER BY v.weight, t.weight, t.name in /srv/www/improvcommunity.ca/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.module on line 640.
  • user warning: Got error 28 from storage engine query: SELECT t.*,v.weight AS v_weight_unused FROM term_node r INNER JOIN term_data t ON r.tid = t.tid INNER JOIN vocabulary v ON t.vid = v.vid WHERE r.vid = 1072 ORDER BY v.weight, t.weight, t.name in /srv/www/improvcommunity.ca/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.module on line 640.
  • user warning: Got error 28 from storage engine query: SELECT t.*,v.weight AS v_weight_unused FROM term_node r INNER JOIN term_data t ON r.tid = t.tid INNER JOIN vocabulary v ON t.vid = v.vid WHERE r.vid = 1053 ORDER BY v.weight, t.weight, t.name in /srv/www/improvcommunity.ca/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.module on line 640.
  • user warning: Got error 28 from storage engine query: SELECT t.*,v.weight AS v_weight_unused FROM term_node r INNER JOIN term_data t ON r.tid = t.tid INNER JOIN vocabulary v ON t.vid = v.vid WHERE r.vid = 123 ORDER BY v.weight, t.weight, t.name in /srv/www/improvcommunity.ca/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.module on line 640.
  • user warning: Got error 28 from storage engine query: SELECT node.nid AS nid, node_revisions.body AS node_revisions_body, node_revisions.format AS node_revisions_format, node_data_field_quotation_attribution.field_quotation_attribution_value AS node_data_field_quotation_attribution_field_quotation_attribution_value, node.type AS node_type, node.vid AS node_vid, RAND() AS _random FROM node node LEFT JOIN node_revisions node_revisions ON node.vid = node_revisions.vid LEFT JOIN content_type_quotation node_data_field_quotation_attribution ON node.vid = node_data_field_quotation_attribution.vid WHERE node.type in ('quotation') ORDER BY _random ASC LIMIT 0, 1 in /srv/www/improvcommunity.ca/sites/improvcommunity.ca/modules/views/includes/view.inc on line 810.

Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium 2010

Improvising Bodies

University of Guelph, September 8-10, 2010

What is a body, what is an improvising body, how do bodies improvise or are they improvised, and how does improvisation contribute to new thinking on bodies and embodiment? What kinds of community-practices improvise bodies in critical ways and how and what can we learn from them? Which bodies are thought of as not improvised, but pre-composed, and what does a framework of improvising bodies have to say to that?

Investigating these and other questions, this year's colloquium, Improvising Bodies, explores the body as a site for the analysis of new perspectives, new methodologies, and new artistic and cultural practices.

The Colloquium is presented by the Guelph Jazz Festival, in conjunction with the Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice project, the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, and the University of Guelph.

See bottom of page for links to the 2010 Abstracts & Bios and the original Call For Papers.


All events at Macdonald Stewart Art Centre.

All events are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 8

Introductory Remarks and Welcome

Panel 1A: 9:15-10:30 IMPROVISATION, TEXT AND MEDIA

  • Moderator: Ben Authers
  • Nicholas Loess (School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph) and François Mouillot (Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University), "Improvisation and Urban Violence: Takes on the 2005 French Riots"
  • Michael Mackenzie (Musicology, University of Toronto), "Jazz, Public Television, and Cosmopolitanism"
  • Jaime Brenes Reyes (Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Guelph), "Improvisation as a Writing Technique in Cortazar's Hopscotch, or How Julio Invites the Reader to Play Along"

Panel 1B: 9:15-10:30 INSTRUMENTS, BODIES, VOICES

  • Moderator: Joe Sorbara
  • Catherine Lee (Music, McGill University), "The Role of Improvisation in the Development of my Voice as a Performer in Rafales (2007) by Jerome Blais"
  • Louise Campbell (Music Education, McGill University), "Move and Be Moved: Improvisatory Movement Practices for Musicians"
  • Scott Herder (School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph), "Improvising Culture and the Body's Instruments"

Panel 2A: 10:45-12:00 BODIES IN TECHNOLOGY AND IN NEW MEDIA

  • Moderator: Doug Horne
  • James Gordon Williams (University of California, San Diego), "Chopped 'n' Screwed: T-Pain's Improvising Body as a Virtual Simulacrum for Agency"
  • Rebecca Caines (Improvisation, Community and Social Practice, University of Guelph), "(e)Scaping the Body: Working with Communities in New Media Improvisation"
  • Melvin Backstrom (Musicology, McGill University), "'Was That Really a Performance?': Laptop Music and its Specters"
  • George Blake (Ethnomusicology, University of California, Santa Barbara), "A New Rhythm to an Old Form: Tradition, Innovation, and the Trope of Syncopation in 'Late Minstrelsy"

Panel 2B: 10:45-12:00 BODILY KNOWLEDGE, CULTURAL MEMORY, PUBLIC SPACE

  • Moderator: Christine Bold
  • David Jackson (Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario), "Resonant Cities: Soundscape, Space and Culture"
  • Jovana Milovic (Philosophy, University of Toronto), "Public City"
  • Lindsay Vogt (Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara), "Making Moves in Nature: Restriction, Space, and the Emergent Water Cultures of a Southern California River"

Lunch - 12:00-1:00

Panel 3A: 1:15-2:30 IMPROVISATION, COGNITION, EMBODIMENT

  • Moderator: Georgina Born
  • Roger Dean (MARCS Auditory Laboratories, University of Western Sydney, Australia), “Loudness, Intensity and Affect in Jazz and Free Improvisation Performance and Cognition”
  • David Ross (Education, McGill University), “Activating Bodies of Knowledge: Improvisation, Cognition, and Sports Education”
  • Charity Chan (Musicology, Princeton University) “In the ‘Absence’ of Sound: Cultural Memory, Bodily Knowledge, and Non-Sonic Practices in Creative Improvisation”

Panel 3B: 1:15-2:30 BODIES IN JAZZ HISTORY

  • Moderator: Sherrie Tucker
  • Sarah Caissie (Musicology, Brandeis University), “The Early Performed Jazz Retrospective”
  • Howard Spring (School of Fine Art and Music, University of Guelph), “Embodying Jazz: The Black Body at the Beginning of Swing”
  • Eddie Meadows (Ethnomusicology, University of California, Los Angeles), “Islam and Jazz: Context and Testimonies from the Bebop Era”
  • Pete Williams (American Studies, University of Kansas), “Weird Bodily Noises: Embodying Race, Gender, and Jazz History in Kansas City”

Panel 4A: 2:45-4:00 PEDAGOGY

  • Moderator: Gillian Siddall
  • Melissa Walker and Rob Jackson (School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph), "Play-ability: Improvisation, Agency, and the Body in the 'Play Who You Are' Workshops”
  • Karen Duplisea (Theatre School Dance Program, Ryerson University), “A Dialogue Between Art and Dance: Painting into Improvisation”
  • Simon Rose (Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, UK), “Free Improvisation’s Relationship with Education”

Panel 4B: 2:45-4:00 DESIRE AND SIGNIFICATION

  • Moderator: Karl Coulthard
  • David Lee, “Dance, Deconsecration, and Salvation: Ellington at Newport 1956”
  • Michael Szekely (Liberal Arts,Temple University), “A Pulsional Ontology of Music: Barthes and Beyond”

5:00 SIMULTANEOUS DISCOVERIES, VIRTUAL COLLABORATIONS

  • Launch for Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice Website

5:30 TELEMATIC PERFORMANCE

  • Pauline Oliveros, Anne Bourne, Ben Grossman, Jesse Stewart, Ricardo Arias, Doug Van Nort, Curtis Bahn, and Jonas Braasch (Ontario/USA/Colombia)

8:00 LAUNCH OF IKONS

  • An installation by George Lewis and Eric Metcalfe (USA/British Colombia)
  • Performance: Ellen Waterman and Daman Holzborn (Newfoundland/USA)

Thursday, September 9

Keynote 9:15-10:30

  • Introductory remarks: Sherrie Tucker (American Studies, University of Kansas)
  • Alex Lubet (Music and American Studies, University of Minnesota), “(Paralyzed on One) Sideman: Disability Studies Meets Jazz, through the Hands of Horace Parlan”

Panel 5: 10:45 – 12:00 ABSENT BODIES, VIRTUAL BODIES

  • Moderator: Katherine McLeod
  • Tamas Dobozy (English and Film Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University), “Body Songs”
  • Kimberly Hannon (Eastman School of Music), “Mary Lou and Billie Jean”
  • Andrew Raffo Dewar (University of Alabama), “Re-Performing Art Tatum: Zenph Studios, Steven Mayer, and the Ontology of the Improvising Body”

Lunch 12:00 – 1:00

Workshop 1: 1:00 – 2:00 BODIES IMPROVISING/IMPROVISING BODIES: MUSIC, DANCE, AND CHANCE

  • Ben Grossman (host), Germaine Liu, Dianne Chapitis, Lynette Segal, Julie Lassonde, Nilan Perera, Jeff Reilly, Carlos Siri (Ontario / Nova Scotia)

Panel 6: 2:15-3:30 DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION

  • Moderator: Deborah Wong
  • Sharon Morgan Beckford (Department of English, St. Mary’s University), “What and Who is a Dancehall Queen, and What Does the Dancehall Queen Competition Offer Women?”
  • Wilson Blakely (Philosophy, McGill University), “Listening to the Growing Edge: How we Tune-in to the Dancing Body”
  • Angela Blumberg (York University) and Augusto Monk (Music Education, University of Toronto), “Improvisation Theory for the 1st to 5th Dimension”

4:00 COMMUNITY SOUND (e)SCAPES

  • Launch of Community Sound (e)Scapes sound art project
  • Rebecca Caines (Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice, University of Guelph)

5:15 PERFORMANCE: ROGER DEAN, THE MULTIPIANO SHOW (AUSTRALIA)

Friday, September 10

Plenary Panel 1: 9:00-10:15 CHICAGO SLOW DANCE: THE AACM IN CONVERSATION

  • Moderator: Lincoln Beauchamp Jr.
  • With Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, George Lewis

Plenary Panel 2: 10:30 – 12:00 MUSIC IMPROVISATION SOFTWARE: AN INTERFACE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

  • Moderator: Ellen Waterman
  • Pauline Oliveros (Deep Listening Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Gillian Siddall (Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Lakehead University), Sherrie Tucker (American Studies, University of Kansas), Ellen Waterman (Music, Memorial University), Leaf Miller (Deep Listening Institute / Abilities First Inc), Jaclyn Heyen (Deep Listening Institute), Sergio Hazard (Sergio Hazard,Children's Rehabilitation Institute, TELETON, Santiago-Chile), Paula Josa-Jones [Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works, ISMETA (International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association), and Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies]

Lunch 12:00 – 1:00

Workshop 2: 1:00 – 2:00 PLAY THE DRUM! IMPROVISING WITH REAL AND VIRTUAL DRUMS ACROSS ABILITIES

  • Pauline Oliveros (Deep Listening Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Leaf Miller (Deep Listening Institute / Abilities First Inc), Jaclyn Heyen (Deep Listening Institute), Paula Josa-Jones [Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works, ISMETA (International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association), and Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies], Gillian Siddall (Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Lakehead University), Sherrie Tucker (American Studies, University of Kansas), Ellen Waterman (Music, Memorial University).

Panel 7: 2:15-3:30 RACE ETHNOGRAPHY, HYBRIDITY

  • Moderator: Ric Knowles (University of Guelph)
  • Charles C. Smith (University of Toronto at Scarborough), "Wind in the Leaves: Improvisation in Interdisciplinary Performance"
  • Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston (Anthropology, Wilfrid Laurier University), "Improvising Bodily Contagion in Performance-Centered Research in Postsocialist Poland"
  • Paul Watkins (School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph), “The Jazz Sample: Flow, Layering, and Rupture in Hip Hop”
  • David Leahy (Département des lettres et communications, Université de Sherbrooke), “Touching the Rhythm: How Improvisation Embodies Values”

4:00-4:30: BODY AND SOUL: AN INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW CYRILLE (conducted by Rob Wallace)

  • Andrew Cyrille (Jazz and Contemporary Music, The New School, New York)
  • Rob Wallace (English, University of California, Santa Barbara)

This colloquium is generously sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation, the SOCAN Foundation, the Musagetes Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage/Patrimoine canadien, the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, the Office of the President, the Office of the Vice-President, Research, the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Student Affairs, the School of English and Theatre Studies, the School of Fine Art and Music, the School of Languages and Literatures, and the Central Student Association at the University of Guelph.

Archived Abstracts and Bios

Please click here to download an archived copy of the 2010 Colloquium abstracts and bios in PDF form.

Archived Call For Papers

Please click here to download an archived copy of the 2010 Colloquium Call For Papers in PDF form.