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Improv Notes: February 2014

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IMprov Notes:
News of the Moment       February 2014


Spotlight on ICASP Postdoctoral Fellows

Each Postdoctoral Fellow was asked: 
1.) Tell us a little about your current research and how it relates to improvisation?
2.) Can you name an album that is seminal for you? 



Chris Tonelli (Guelph): I'm working on histories of vocal improvisation. I'm interested in vocalists who have used their voices in unconventional ways. Some of the work is on improvisation by figures like Jeanne Lee, Yoko Ono, and Maggie Nicols in the 1960s and 1970s, but I'm also doing ethnographic work in contemporary communities of improvisers.
 
My own practice as a vocal improviser began after I heard Mike Patton's album Adult Themes for Voice and I fully embraced the practice after seeing Paul Dutton improvise live and hearing his album Mouth Pieces. In my current research, recordings like the Maggie Nicols/Phil Minton/Brian Eley/Julie Tippetts album Voice and Jeanne Lee's work on records like Gunter Hampel's album The 8th of July 1969 and Marion Brown's album In Sommerhausen stand out as key documents of the ways improvisation communities in the 1960s and 1970s were fostering the development and acceptance of non-pitch based forms of singing.


Lauren Michelle Levesque (Guelph): My current research examines the relationship between local conflict transformation and improvised practices. This relationship is posited as a resource for understanding the ways communities creatively engage with conflict and change, including the roots and impacts of violence and social healing.  
 
I grew up listening to Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour. Their music is infused with an incredible capacity for storytelling; a capacity that I currently explore as central to arts-based conflict transformation and peace building practices.


Illa Carrillo Rodríguez (McGill)My research looks at how embodied, improvised forms of cultural and political activism have contributed to the construction of social spaces for collectively wrestling with the history and ongoing legacies of authoritarian-neoliberal regimes of governmentality in postdictatorship Argentina. The focus of my current work is on a series of street demonstrations and music festivals organized by some of the country’s most prominent human rights organizations in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a period when Argentina’s public sphere was dominated by discourses of national pacification that sought to legitimate the impunity of those responsible for state repression during the last military dictatorship (1976-1983). I am particularly interested in examining the sonic repertoires and modes of noise- and music-making that emerged from the interactions among activists, performers, and audiences during these demonstrations and festivals. 

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, singer Amelita Baltar recorded a repertoire of songs written by poet Horacio Ferrer and composer, arranger, and bandoneón player Astor Piazzolla. When I first listened to those songs and to the 1968 recording of Ferrer and Piazzolla’s “little opera” María de Buenos Aires, I remember being struck by Baltar’s husky voice, the very audible breathing that punctuated her phrasing, and her hyperbolic, yet strangely sober, rendering of Ferrer’s verses, which were populated by rather baroque figures: a lunfardo-speaking Shakespearean character (bandoneón player Aníbal Troilo), whose voice appears in the guise of “a cat walking on hidden cymbals” (“El gordo triste”); a madman-flâneur wearing half a melon for a hat, “rare mixture of next-to-last vagabond and first stowaway on his way to Venus” (“Balada para un loco”); and an agonizing heart, “with an electrocardiogram like that of the tango,” who wages “mysterious struggles” that it never talks about with its owner (“No quiero otro”).Those songs were my point of entry into the literary, musical, and political universes that have been my subject of inquiry and reflection for nearly two decades now.


Alexandre Pierrepont (McGill): As an ethnographer, and an anthropologist, and after a fifteen years long study on the AACM, with fieldworks in Chicago, NYC, and in Europe, which will turn into a book at the end of the year, I intend to compare improvisation as developed by creative musicians, especially the "in 'n out" approach (being inside and outside at the same time, in Paul Gilroy's terms), to other "systems" of thoughts, and practices, like the taoist philosophy or the balance of opposites as seen by the German romantics or the surrealists. As if it were the seasons, as if it was a tribute to Novalis, Stuart Hall, and Jean François Billeter. If creative music has been like an alternative institution in the modern and post-modern western world, is it also possible to connect it to other alternatives to this world?   

One album is impossible. I'm all about multiplicity. Let's say three. Sound, by the Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. Dogon A.D., by Julius Hemphill. And the Mark Hollis solo album.


ORAL HISTORIES PROJECT

Oral Histories is a showcase of interviews, performances, and articles by and about improvising musicians, artists, writers and scholars. This monthly feature offers an intimate look inside the minds and practices of some of the many dynamic, innovative people whose energy and ideas make improvisation studies such a vibrant field of inquiry. The Oral Histories project provides a space for improvising artists to be heard in their own words, often in dialogue with other improvisers, scholars, and practitioners.

FRESH KILS: Control This!



Fresh Kils is an engineer, producer, and a master on the MPC (Akai’s Music Production Center). As one of Canada’s most creative hip-hop producers, his accolades range from a JUNO nomination to winning Toronto’s acclaimed Sound Battle Royale competition. Many of his productions are as one half of the Extremities, a producer/DJ duo, and recently Kils has produced beats for D-Sisive and Ghettosocks.

Here are a few are a few of his renowned MPC routines:

*The Price is Right Routine
*Transformers (CyberTron) Routine
*Funky Drummer Routine

The interview featured in this month’s Oral History was part of an outreach project by ICASP in collaboration with Immigrant Family Services called Control This! and took place in September of 2012. The goal of the project was to explore ways in which youth might learn to create improvised music using digital tools, particularly the MPC 500 and MPC 1000. With the assistance of Karen Kew, ICASP Postdoctoral Fellow Mark V. Campbell explored the MPC with 5 youth over the course of one month. The expertise of Controllerist Fresh Kils was brought in to enhance the final workshop. Mark V. Campbell interviews Fresh Kils about his process and controllerism in relation to improvised art practices.

A full transcript of the interview is available here.

In addition, check out the New Youth Radio interview about the Control This! digital music program with guests Mark Campbell and Andrew Kilgour here.

Photo Credit: Karen Kew from Immigrant Services in Guelph


Summer Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation 

Memorial University of Newfoundland, June 29 to July 12, 2014

Intended for graduate students who have an interest in improvisation and its potential for dynamic forms of community building, the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation is offering a two-week intensive course to explore the theme of Improvisation as Practice-Based Research. The course will examine some of the ways in which improvisatory arts practices can be integrated with scholarly research agendas. How can academic research questions, methodologies, and outcomes benefit improvisatory creative practices and vice versa? In addition, the course will critically examine the changing institutional frameworks that support practice-based research in general and improvisation studies in particular.

Application due before April 15th, 2014.

To view the full call for applications for the 2014 Summer Institute, please click here.


Quote of the Month:

"But, in any case, did not the black people in America, deprived of their own musical instruments, take the trumpet and the trombone and blow them as they had never been blown before, as indeed they were not designed to be blown? And the result, was it not jazz? Is any one going to say that this was a loss to the world or that those first Negro slaves who began to play around with the discarded instruments of their masters should have played waltzes and foxtrots? No! Let every people bring their gifts to the great festival of the world’s cultural harvest and mankind will be all the richer for the variety and distinctiveness of the offerings."
-Chinua Achebe, "Colonialist Critique"

In the quote of the month, Chinua Achebe uses the example of jazz to articulate his right and necessity to use the Western novel form to express the particular experience of African people. Achebe’s argument, with his cross-cultural and anticolonial positioning, describes how African Americans utilized the instruments they had access to in order to create a music that was uniquely their own: a music contributing to the “world’s cultural harvest,” growing and taking root in a variety of musics, cultures, and soils.
 

Achebe was a Nigerian novelist/storyteller, poet, professor, critic, and humanitarian. His most well known novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), which many consider his magnum opus, is the most widely read book in modern African literature. His critiques of racism in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness were instrumental to the postcolonial critical movement. Recalling his time as political prisoner, Nelson Mandela referred to Achebe as a writer “in whose company the prison walls fell down.” Last year, on March 21st, 2013, Achebe passed away. He remains an inspiration to people and writers around the world for the liberating potential of his literature and his depictions of life in Africa.

Photo from here.


Postdoctoral Fellowship Program 2014-2015

The International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI)’s mandate is to create positive social change through the confluence of improvisational arts, innovative scholarship, and collaborative action. For the 2014-2015 academic year, we invite applications of postdoctoral researchers for two residential fellowships. One fellowship will be located at Memorial University of Newfoundland; the second fellowship will be located at the University of Guelph, McGill University, or the University of Regina.

IICSI seeks to contribute to interdisciplinary research and graduate training in the emerging field of improvisation studies. Applications from researchers working in the principal research areas related to our project are encouraged: music, cultural studies, creative technologies, political studies, sociology and anthropology, English studies, theatre and performance studies, French studies, law, philosophy, and communications. Applications from different research areas are also welcomed, inasmuch as their research has a direct link with the social, cultural, or political implications of improvised arts practices.

These postdoctoral fellowships provide stipendiary support to recent PhD graduates who are undertaking original research, publishing research findings, and developing and expanding personal research networks. Two twelve-month fellowships will be awarded for the 2014-2015 academic year, each valued at $38,000 CDN.

Application Criteria

Applicants are invited to submit a research proposal focusing on the social implications (broadly construed) of improvised artistic practices. Successful candidates will be chosen on the basis of a rigorous process of application, with IICSI's management team serving as the selection committee. Criteria for selection are the quality and originality of the proposed research, the fit with our project's overall mandate and objectives, the candidate's record of scholarly achievement, and his/her ability to benefit from the activities associated with the project.

Postdoctoral fellows will be eligible for competitive research stipends, logistical assistance for relocation, office space equipped with state-of-the-art computers, access to the services of the host institution (library, etc), and administrative, placement, and research assistance as needed. In return, fellows are expected to pursue the research project submitted in their application, to participate in our project’s research activities (colloquia, seminars, institutes), and to present their work in progress in the context of our project’s seminars and workshops.

Applicants should have completed a PhD at the time of application (to be conferred by November 1, 2014). Electronic applications are welcome, provided that original hard copies of transcripts and reference letters are submitted by mail by the postmark deadline. Notification for award: June 2014.

Applicants must submit ALL of the following by the postmark deadline (April 30, 2014):

  • Curriculum vitae
  • One scholarly paper or publication written in the course of the last three years
  • A statement (1,500 words or less) describing the proposed research project
  • Two confidential letters of reference (sent directly to us before the deadline)
  • Graduate Transcript(s)
  • Indication of preferred location, if applicable (University of Guelph, McGill, Memorial, Regina), and language proficiencies

Send applications to:

Dr. Ajay Heble
International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation
042 MacKinnon Building
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1

For more information or to email applications, contact: 
improv@uoguelph.ca.


Storytelling Event with Stéphanie Bénéteau

Lower Massey Hall, University of Guelph, Thursday, March 13, 2014
5-7 pm 


Photo: David Babcock

Vous êtes invités a participer à une conférence-contée avec Stéphanie Bénéteau, jeudi, le 13 mars 2014 de 5 à 7 heures. Stéphanie est conteuse de renommée internationale. En plus de séduire son public avec ses contes, elle anime des ateliers à travers le monde. Pour cette conférence Stéphanie fera une démonstration de son art et discutera des outils du métier. Merveilleuse, elle vous ensorcellera dès la première phrase! Le prix d'entrée est une contribution volontaire ($5 suggéré).

Pour de plus amples informations, contactez Stéphanie Nutting (snutting@uoguelph.ca) ou Frédérique Arroyas (farroyas@uoguelph.ca).

Please join us for a storytelling event with Stéphanie Bénéteau, Thursday, March 13, 2014 from 5-7 pm. Stéphanie is an internationally renowned storyteller. In addition to charming her public with her stories, she facilitates workshops around the world. For the event, Stéphanie will demonstrate the art of storytelling and discuss the tools of this craft. A compelling presence, she will enchant you with every word. A donation of $5 is suggested or pay what you can. 

For more information, please contact Stéphanie Nutting (snutting@uoguelph.ca) or /ou Frédérique Arroyas (farroyas@uoguelph.ca).


About ICASP
 

The international Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice research project explores musical improvisation as a model for social change. The project plays a leading role in defining a new field of interdisciplinary research to shape political, cultural, and ethical dialogue and action.

As a form of musical practice, improvisation embodies real-time creative decision-making, risk-taking, and collaboration. Improvisation must be considered not simply as a musical form, but as a complex social phenomenon that mediates transcultural inter-artistic exchanges that produce new conceptions of identity, community, history, and the body. This project focuses primarily on jazz and creative improvised music. The dominant theoretical issues emerging from this music have vital social implications.


Check out our diverse research collection.

Featured Artist:
STEVE REICH



Image from The Guardian.
Steve Reich (USA)

“All musicians in the past, starting with the middle ages were interested in popular music [...] Béla Bartók's music is made entirely of sources from Hungarian folk music. And Igor Stravinsky, although he lied about it, used all kinds of Russian sources for his early ballets. Kurt Weill’s great masterpiece Dreigroschenoper is using the cabaret-style of the Weimar Republic and that’s why it is such a masterpiece. Only artificial division between popular and classical music happened unfortunately through the blindness of Arnold Schoenberg and his followers to create an artificial wall, which never existed before him. In my generation we tore the wall down and now we are back to the normal situation, for example if Brian Eno or David Bowie come to me, and if popular musicians remix my music like The Orb or DJ Spooky it is a good thing. This is a natural normal regular historical way.” 
—Steve Reich in an Interview with Jakob Buhre

 
Stephen Michael Reich is one of America’s most influential and important living composers. Along with composers like Philip Glass and La Monte Young, Reich helped usher in minimal music in the mid to late 1960s. Many of his early experimentation was with twelve-tone composition, and he was particularly attracted to the rhythmic possibilities more so than the melodic aspects. His innovations are manifold, and include using tape loops to create phasing patterns (It’s Gonna Rain), as well as simple audible processes to explore larger themes, such as the historical themes from his Jewish heritage on the Grammy Award-winning Different Trains. His compositions are often marked by his use of repetition, as well as slow harmonic rhythms. In 2007 Reich was awarded the Polar Music Prize along with Sonny Rollins. He won the Polar Music Prize again in 2009 for his Double Sextet, which the citation described as “a major work that displays an ability to channel an initial burst of energy into a large-scale musical event, built with masterful control and consistently intriguing to the ear.”
 
Reich’s first major work It’s Gonna Rain (1965), influenced by fellow minimalist Terry Riley, uses a fragment from a black Pentecostal preacher about the end of the world, transferring the fragment “It’s Gonna Rain” to numerous tape loops which gradually move out of phase with one another. Such phasing and tape loop innovation is heard on many of Reich’s early works, culminating in some ways on
Clapping Music (1972), which uses no instruments beyond the human body, and in which the players do not so much as phase in and out with one another, but shift by one quaver beat every 12 bars until they line up in unison 144 bars later. Reich’s compositions remained innovative and gradually expanded in scope for ensembles, perhaps influenced by his early forays with his improvising ensemble in San Francisco in 1963, which featured a few members of the Grateful Dead. Further, Reich was inspired by jazz, particularly the music of John Coltrane who showed him how much you could do with just a few chords with little harmony. For example, Reich described Coltrane's Africa/Brass as “basically a half-an-hour in F.”

Reich’s trip to study music in Ghana in 1971 inspired his piece
Drumming, which was composed for a nine-piece percussion ensemble that included female voices and piccolo. After Drumming, Reich continued to work on more elaborate compositions, including his seminal Music for 18 Musicians (1974), Music for a Large Ensemble (1978), and Octet (1979). Reich continues to remain an innovative and prolific composer, working with groups like The Kronos Quartet, and he has influenced a generation of musicians from Brian Eno to indie-rock artist Sufjan Stevens, as well as instrumental ensembles like Tortoise, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. One of the things about any artist who continues to grow is his or her ability to listen and move with the times, emphasized by Reich’s admiration for the band Radiohead, which led to his composition, Radio Rewrite.
 
I’ve only really scratched the surface of Reich’s layered and long career of creative music making. To read more—and in the artist’s own words—about Reich’s compositions, reflecting his changing ideas about music, check out his Writings on Music. For now, here are two of Reich’s pieces via YouTube:

Proverb (1996):


Music for 18 Musicians (live in Japan, 2008):

CFP: 2014 Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium: Sounding Futures


University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, September 3-5, 2014 

“The future is always here in the past”
-Amiri Baraka, “Jazzmen: Diz & Sun Ra”

“We will make our own future Text" 
-Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo

The Guelph Jazz Festival, in conjunction with the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, the University of Guelph, and the SSHRC funded International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) invites proposals for presentations at our annual three ‐ day international interdisciplinary conference. This year's colloquium will take place September 3rd to 5th as part of the 21st annual Guelph Jazz Festival (September 3-7). It will bring together a diverse range of scholars, creative practitioners, arts presenters, policy makers, and members of the general public. Featuring workshops, panel discussions, keynote lectures, performances, and dialogues among researchers, artists, and audiences, the annual colloquium cuts across a range of social and institutional locations and promotes a dynamic international exchange of cultural forms and knowledges.

In celebration of the centennial of musician, bandleader, and Astro-black philosopher Sun Ra’s arrival on planet earth, and in keeping with Ra’s use of music as a way to envision – and indeed to create – other possible futures, this year’s colloquium asks, What does your future sound like? How might jazz and improvised music offer ways into other and future realities? One of the legacies of Ra’s lifework has been the fusion, in his own performances and compositions, of Egyptian iconography with sounds, texts, and imagery of space travel and technology. The mid-1990s saw Marc Dery and other scholars formalize this aesthetic vision around the term “Afrofuturism.” As Dery has put it, “African American voices have other stories to tell about culture, technology and things to come. If there is an Afrofuture, it must be sought in unlikely places, constellated from far-flung points.” From the Afrofuturism of the Sun Ra Arkestra and the “sonic fiction” of Kodwo Eshun, to the Afro Science fiction of Octavia Butler, to the recent work of artists such as Nicole Mitchell and the works of feminist and other visionary thinkers, to other multiple and hybridized notions of futurity, music and sound have long been vital focal points for social movements and utopian imaginings.

In his Foreword to a special issue on Technologies and Black Music in the Americas of the Journal of the Society for American Music, George E. Lewis asks, “what can the sound tell us about the Afrofuture? How can we develop a new theoretical and descriptive language that both complements and exceeds the purview of the terms ‘music,’ ‘sound,’ and ‘listening’”? This year’s colloquium seeks to extend this line of questioning by focusing on the “other stories” that might be sounded about the future through jazz and improvisatory artistic practices. Possible topics might include (but are not limited to) the place of Afrofuturism and other liberatory sono-futurist movements in the historical narrative of jazz and improvised music, the ways in which other artistic mediums (literature, theatre, dance, visual art) grapple with the sound of future-making, how minoritized and subjugated communities embrace creative technologies and future visions in their expressive output and cultural production. We also invite papers and presentations on the lifework of Sun Ra.

We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary work that speaks to both an academic audience and a general public. We welcome presentations in a range of creative and unconventional formats, including but not limited to dance, theatre, spoken word, music, multi-media, and film. What might it be like, for example, to exemplify the sound of the future through concrete samplings of different forms of musical practice that herald new directions in improvised musicking? Please indicate the format of your presentation and any technical or other resources required. We also invite presenters to submit completed versions of their papers to our peer ‐ reviewed journal, Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisation (www.criticalimprov.com) for consideration.

Please send (500 word) proposals (for 15 minute delivery) and a short bio by May 31, 2014 to:
The 2014 Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium
c/o Dr. Ajay Heble, Artistic Director, The Guelph Jazz Festival. Email: jazzcoll@uoguelph.ca

Download the original call for papers by clicking here.


ICASP Research Collaborator Cecil Foster Releases Two New Books

Genuine Multiculturalism

While many modern societies are noted for their diversity, the resulting challenge is to determine how citizens from different backgrounds and cultures can see themselves and each other as equals, and be treated equally. In Genuine MulticulturalismCecil Foster shows that a society’s failure to bridge these differences is the tragedy of modern living and that pretending it is possible to mechanically develop fraternity and solidarity among diverse groups is akin to seeking out comedy. Arguing that genuine multiculturalism is the search for social justice by individuals who have been trapped by ascribed identities or newcomers who have been shut out of perceived ethnic homelands, Foster details how this process, in essence, is the story of the Americas. Reconceptionalizing the terms of multiculturalism, he offers an intervention into Canada’s claim that its definition and practice are based on recognizing equality of citizenship. Identifying genuine multiculturalism as an ongoing work in progress, rather than a tightly defined policy position, Foster challenges readers to imagine a greater and more harmonious ideal. A necessary theoretical reconsideration of diversity within society, Genuine Multiculturalism refocuses the debate about ideals and practices in modern societies. For more info, click here.

Independence
Independence is the deeply moving story of the coming of age of a country and a boy, at the time of Barbados’ independence from Britain in 1966. Fourteen-year-old Christopher Lucas and Stephanie King have been neighbours and best friends since they were born a few months apart. Through a series of triumphs and catastrophes, Christopher and Stephanie determine their places in the world and take control of their lives. Rich with the details of Bajan culture—from food preparation to political and financial affairs, from sexuality to spirituality—Independence is a fascinating window onto a little-known world and a touching portrait of a journey to adulthood and the women who guide it. For more info, click here.

Genuine Multiculturalism concerns social improvisation in the most idealistic sense, while Independence is a literary look at the human condition as improvisation.

Stay tuned for a book launch and an upcoming Thinking Spaces event with Cecil Foster. 


Call for Papers: Cyphers: Hip Hop and Improvisation
 


Critical Studies in Improvisation / Études critiques en improvisation invites submissions for a special issue with the theme “Cyphers: Hip Hop and Improvisation,” guest-edited by Rebecca Caines and Paul Watkins. This special issue of CSI will draw together artists and academics to investigate the crucial role improvisation plays in the international field of Hip Hop, and in the related field of critical Hip Hop studies. We seek contributions from artist/practitioners and from scholars working across the disciplines.
 
Derek Bailey’s notion of improvisation as being the most practiced, yet the least understood, of all musical activities, is particularly pertinent to the immense and constantly burgeoning field of Hip Hop praxis from around the world. Although most scholars are aware of the integral nature of improvisatory practices in Hip Hop, few critically explore how improvisation is a viable form of analysis in Hip Hop, as well as a model for social change. Improvisation plays a central role in African-American, Hispanic, and Caribbean based Hip Hop practices in the US, and continues to be a core element in Hip Hop music, dance and visual art across the globalized forms of this interdisciplinary art practice. We encourage contributors to pursue new conversations, interventions even, about how we think of improvisation vis-à-vis the larger milieu of Hip Hop. Critical academic essays are encouraged, and the editors also welcome for consideration artist statements, commentaries, reviews, interviews and experimental textual forms. We intend to showcase a variety of live artist performances and invited papers at a launch event for this Special Issue. CSI/ÉCI encourages the submission of audio and visual content to accompany texts. It is the responsibility of the author to ascertain copyright and gain permissions.
 
Some potential topics include:
  • How do Hip Hop artists combine idiomatic and non-idiomatic improvisation in their work?
  • What artistic, social, and economic pressures face Hip Hop artists who foreground the improvisatory in their work?
  • How does improvisation in Hip Hop reflect, develop, or contrast the social practices and pressing political issues of the communities in which it appears?
  • What role does improvisation play in the creation of academic disciplinarities and “Hip Hop pedagogies” both inside and outside educational institutions? 
  • What role does improvisation in Hip Hop play in the recontextualization of cultural and intercultural identity?           
  • How do Indigenous communities across the world improvise, translate, transform, and indigenize the US form of Hip Hop arts practice?           
  • Since Hip Hop has often traditionally been described as “noise” by many conservatives and academics who uncritically profile Hip Hop artists and fans of all genders, races, and classes, might dissonance compel us to think about how disruption can function as a model for critical practice?
  • What are the relationships between technology, accessibility, and Hip Hop culture?
Submissions should be 4000-6000 words (shorter essays may also be considered at the discretion of the editors). Please submit completed essays to the journal website by April 16, 2014. Information on the submission process and examples of previously published work can be found at www.criticalimprov.com. Inquires can also be directly made to csi-eci@uoguelph.ca. Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisation is an open-access, peer-reviewed, electronic, academic journal on improvisation, community, and social practice housed at the University of Guelph. 

To read more of the CFP and to learn about Critical Studies in Improvisation, click here.

Artist Residency - Call for Proposals

The Agosto Foundation / CIAPR Summer Artist-In-Residency Program invites proposals from individuals who wish to participate in a diverse interdisciplinary community of artists from multiple fields and scholarly pursuits, whose interest is to create challenging, new works. The residency offers the opportunity to engage with this community, to collaborate, perform, demonstrate, present, or speak about their work and ideas.

The residency is housed on a beautiful rustic farm property called Rocking Horse Hamlet, which is one hour from Prague, in the Czech Republic, and near to the town of Tábor.

Depending upon the technical requirements from accepted residents, the Artist-in-Residency Program aims to organize a public concert, either as an open house at Rocking Horse Hamlet or a performance in Tábor. There are also opportunities for guerrilla, or otherwise impromptu, performances to happen in the town, to share experience with the local community.

The application deadline is March 16, 2014. The residency is from July 20-Aug. 3, 2014. Up to 15 residents will be selected. All applications should be digital only.

For full details, please visit the Agosto Foundation website here.


Improv Notes was initially distributed in 2008 as a quarterly newsletter. Since June 2011 the revamped Improv Notes has been assembled, written, and distributed on a monthly basis by ICASP's Media and Public Relations Coordinator, Paul Watkins. If you have anything improvisation related that you would like to have included in the newsletter, please send an email to Paul at: icaspweb@uoguelph.ca


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There is a curious yet enormously fruitful duality in the way that improvisation plays on our expectations and perspectives.

– Tracey Nicholls