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UBC Colloquium 2010

Sound Lines: Improvisation, Text and Media

June 24-26, 2010

The ongoing emergence of new media presents both challenges and opportunities for improvisers from around the world. The Improvisation, Community and Social Practice research initiative – in conjunction with Coastal Jazz and the University of British Columbia – presented Sound Lines, a conference on improvisation, text and media, which took place at UBC Robson Square and at the Tom Lee Music Hall, in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, alongside the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Composer-improviser Barry Guy and animator Michel Gagné opened the conference with a keynote talk about their collaboration Fixed Fragmented Fluid, which also had its world première at the jazz festival.

Vancouver poet Wayde Compton delivered the closing keynote address, on “Turntable Poetry, Mixed-Race, and Schizophonophilia.”

The conference featured presentations by academics and artists from around the world on topics including improvisation in film and theatre, the poetics of improvisation, jazz in the media, community-making and the politics of improvisation, hip-hop and turntablism, visual culture and semiotics, and graphic scores, along with other topics.

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.