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McGill Colloquium 2012

Skin—Surface—Circuit: Embodying the Improvisatory

An ICASP-McGIll Interdisciplinary Conference

June 14-16, 2012, Montreal

The annual ICASP-McGill conference is fast approaching, and we have several exciting panels of speakers and presenters scheduled over the course of the three days. This year’s conference is called “Skin-Surface-Circuit: Embodying the Improvisatory” and takes place from June 14-16, 2012. The conference events will be held at several different locations, reflecting the diversity of the presentations in the programming, as well as the broad scope of the ICASP research project. With the exception of the Saturday evening concert at Casa del Popolo, all events are free and open to the public.

The Thursday June 14 events focus on the Adaptive Use Musical Instruments (AUMI) research group and disability studies and improvisation. The AUMI research group has been working on developing a video-motion tracking instrument software for use with individuals with motor, speech or sensorial difficulties. The software is free and available to all interested parties, and more information can be found online through the Deep Listening Institute. Because of the topics under discussion, ICASP-McGill is excited to be able to present the events for this day at the Mackay Center School (3500 Décarie Blvd.), an English language school for children with motor, speech and sensorial limitations. Because of space limitations, reservations are requested for this day. If you are interested in attending, please email

On Friday June 15, ICASP-McGill will be moving the conference to Sala Rossa (4873 Boul. St-Laurent), as part of the now time-honored tradition of collaborating with Suoni per il Popolo, a local three-week long festival of liberation music. This day’s events include presentations on motion-tracking improvisation software; embodiment and movement; and the relationship between jazz, improvisation, and literature.

The final day of the conference, Saturday June 16, will take place at McGill University in the New Music Building (527 Sherbrooke St. West, Room A-832) and Casa del Popolo (4848 Boul. St-Laurent). The paper presentations that day include discussions on philosophy and improvisation; the improvisatory in electro-acoustic music and pedal making; and networked laptop orchestras. The evening activities at Casa del Popolo are presented as part of the Suoni per il Popolo Festival, and will feature the dance group ANGELA and the Montreal-based improvisation duo MERCURY (Lori Freedman, clarinets; Nicolas Caloia, double bass). The ticket price for the concert is $10, and tickets are available at the door, at the conference, and on-line through Casa del Popolo.

Call for papers

Colloquium poster

Colloquium Schedule

Presenter Abstracts

Presenter Bios

On Wednesday, June 13th (the day before this colloquium), ICASP, along with the McGill Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology and Naada Yoga, will be co-presenting a Deep Listening Intensive workshop with Pauline Oliveros. This session is offered through McGill's Personal and Cultural Enrichment (PACE) program. The flyer for this event may be viewed here.

This series of events promises to be intellectually and creatively stimulating, and we look forward to seeing you there! For further information or details, feel free to write to Charity Chan.

So one of the things that improvisation has come to mean in the context of highly technological performance is that improvisation is the last claim to the legitimate presence of a human in the performance of music.

– Bob Ostertag