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Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium 2011

Sound Practices: Improvisation, Representation, and Intermediality

University of Guelph, September 7-9, 2011

How is musical improvisation represented? In what ways can cultural meaning be produced through artistic and mass media? How have new interactive technologies affected the creation and reception of improvisational musical practices, and the emergence of new conceptions of music-making? What kinds of future developments in interactivity might condition the emergence of new, hybrid notions of community-formation, along both geographical and virtual dimensions?

Investigating these and other questions, this year’s colloquium explores the representation of musical improvisation by various visual, auditory, electronic, and textual media, and the use of media to improvise, by improvisers.

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 2011 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 7

Introductory Remarks and Welcome

Panel 1 (Plenary): 9:15-10:30 WRITING JAZZ

  • Cecil Foster (Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph)
  • Paul Watkins (School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph)

Panel 2A: 10:45-12:00 PEDAGOGIES, MEDIA, AND IMPROVISATION

  • Moderator: Stephanie Khoury
  • Patrick Boyle (Jazz Studies, University of Victoria), “Finding Problems Together: Silent Films and Student Big Bands”
  • Andrea Kuzmich (Ethnomusicology, York University), “Scoring Vocal Variability and Empowering the Singer with Choices”

Panel 2B:10:30-noon DEVELOPMENTS IN INTERACTIVITY: IMPROVISING MACHINES, IMPROVISATIONAL SOFTWARE, AND SAMPLING

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Eric Lewis (Philosophy, McGill University), "What can machines tell us about improvising? The case of Voyager."
  • Michael Pelz-Sherman (North Carolina), "Agile Jazz and Improvisational Software Development"

Lunch 12:00-1:30

Panel 3A: 1:30-2:45 RECORDING TECHNOLOGIES AND RECEPTION

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Michael Spencer (American Studies, Michigan State University), "Jazzing the Interior: Hi-Fi, FM, and the Reception of Jazz in the Post-WWII California Domestic Sphere"
  • Alan Stanbridge (Visual and Performing Arts, University of Toronto), "Gone, in the Air? Improvisation and the Paradox of Sound Recording"

Panel 3B: 1:30-2:45 AURAL AND VISUAL CONFLUENCES (PART ONE)

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Alain Derbez (Mexico), "Jazz and Love and Art: Who is Jazzamoart?"
  • Rob Jackson (School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph), “"Exposures to Infinity": Examining Robert Frank’s “The Americans””
  • Sara Villa (Centre de recherche en éthique, Université de Montréal), “Intertwined Confessional Narratives: the Representation of Improvised jazz Solos in Jack Kerouac’s Major Novels"

Panel 4A: 3:00-4:14 THE FOUR FACES OF CONTACT IMPROVISATION

  • John Faichney (Sociology, University of Waterloo), “On the Availability of Contact Improvisation to Onlookers”
  • Tanya Williams (Fall on Your Feet Dance Studio), “On Shifting Centre of Gravity in My Body and Thought”
  • Adam Euerby (Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo), “Contact Improvisation: Breaking Three Myths of Collaborative Partnerships”
  • Sarah Tolmie (English, University of Waterloo), “Finding Your Other Half: Contact Improvisation as Extension of the Body Schema”

Panel 4B: 3:00-4:15 REPRESENTATION, MYTH, AND POWER

  • Moderator: TBA
  • David Lee (School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph), Status Transactions, Power, and Performance in Improvised Music”
  • Lisa Williams (American Studies, Michigan State University), “The Story of St. Bix: Myth, Cultural Meaning, and the Improvisation of a Jazz Legend
  • Mark Laver (Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice, University of Guelph), “Autoeroticism: Chryslers, Cyborgs, and the Look of Love”

Workshop 1: 4:15-5:00 CONTACT ENACTION: A PRACTICAL DEMONSTRATION OF CONTACT IMPROVISATION

  • John Faichney, Tanya Williams, Adam Euerby, Sarah Tolmie

8:00 Performance: THE RENT

Thursday, September 8

Panel 5A: 9:15-10:45 WORDS AND MUSIC: POWERING UP (PART ONE)

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Olabanji Akinola (Political Science and International Development, University of Guelph) and Mopelolade Ogunbowale (History and International Development, University of Guelph), “The Role of Musical Improvisation in Social Advocacy: Whither Nigeria?”
  • Barry Long (Music, Bucknell University), ““The Black Blower of the Now”: Coltrane, King, and Rhetorical Change”
  • Tegan Ceschi-Smith (Music Education, University of British Columbia), “Fables of Faubus: Charles Mingus and the Carnegie Centre Jazz Band: Protesting Violence and Inequality”

Panel 5B: 9:15-10:45 IMPROVISING COMMUNITIES: TELEMATICS AND TECHNOLOGY

  • Moderator: Ben Grossman
  • Michael Kaler (Music, York University), “Representing Musical Communities: The Presentation of Group Improvisational Music in A Joyful Noise and The Grateful Dead Movie”
  • Jeff Albert (Experimental Music and Digital Media, Louisiana State University), “Improvisation as Tool and Intention: Organizational Practices in Laptop Orchestras and Their Effect on Personal Music Approaches”
  • Jason Robinson (Music, Amherst College), “Improvising Latencies: Telematics, Improvisation, and the Paradoxes of Synchronicity”

WORKSHOP 2: 11:00 STEVE LACY’S TIPS IN DANCE AND MUSIC

  • Susanna Hood, Scott Thomson, Alanna Kraaijeveld, Christine Duncan, Kyle Brenders

Lunch 12:00-1:00

Panel 6A: 2:15-3:30 WORDS AND MUSIC: POWERING UP (PART TWO)

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Carol Ann Weaver
  • (Music, University of Waterloo), “‘I Improvise, Therefore I Am’ – Story Telling as Improvisatory Music-Making in South Africa Today”
  • Jack Wright (Spring Garden Music), “Resurgence and Challenge 1997-2011: free improvisation from a player’s perspective”
  • Francois Houle (Vancouver Community College School of Music), "Cork Room: On Memory, Sampling, and Poetic Restructuralist Aspects in Live Performance"

Panel 6B: 2:15-3:30 AURAL VISUAL CONFLUENCES (PART TWO)

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Marcel Swiboda (Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, UK), “Transversal Technics Between Improvisation and Theory: Interstitial and Intermedial Extemporary Encounters”
  • Kevin McNeilly (English, University of British Columbia), “Pierre Hebert, Scratching Dissent”
  • Paul Watkins & Nicholas Loess (School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph), “Spatial Stories, Sampled Memories, and Intermedial Improvisations

KEYNOTE 3:45-4:30

  • Introductory Remarks: TBA
  • Aldon Lynn Neilsen (Department of English, Pennsylvania State University) "Meeting over Yonder": Parker, Baraka, Mayfield”

Friday September 9

Keynote 9:15-10:30

  • Introductory remarks: TBA
  • Jayne Cortez, (Poet; President, Organization of Women Writers of Africa, Inc.) “Find Your Own Voice and Use It”

PRESENTATION: 10:45- 11:15 “MUSIC THERAPY VIA REMOTE VIDEO TECHNOLOGY: A CASE REVIEW”

  • Aaron Lightstone (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre)

POETRY READING 11:30-noon

  • Kevin McNeilly (with improvised musical accompaniment)

Lunch 12:00-1:00

WORKSHOP 4: 1:00:-2:15 PASSAGES: THE NORTH BY NORTHWEST SERIES

  • Alexandre Pierrepont (Social and Cultural Anthropology, Université de Paris VII / Sciences Po, France), Didier Petit (France), Marianne Trudel (Quebec), and Gerry Hemingway (Hochshule Luzern, Switzerland)

ONSTAGE INTERVIEW WITH HENRY THREADGILL 2:45-3:30

  • Interviewed by Daniel Fischlin (School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph)

PERFORMANCE 5:00 MARIANNE TRUDEL SEPTET

This colloquium is generously sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation, the Chawkers Foundation, the SOCAN Foundation, Canadian Heritage/Patrimoine canadien, the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Universidad Veracruzana, 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 2011 Colloquium abstracts and bios in PDF form.

Archived Call For Papers

Please click here to download an archived copy of the 2011 Colloquium Call For Papers in PDF form.