Skip to Content

Thinking Spaces: The Guelph ICASP Reading Group and Speaker Series

Thinking Spaces: The Improvisation Reading Group and Speaker Series runs a reading group session during the academic year every two weeks (currently Fridays 3-5pm). The Improvisation Reading Group and Speaker Series considers the ways in which improvisation can provide us with new ways of thinking and acting. Readings may include music, performance, film, academic texts, fiction, etc., based around critical thinking on improvisation.Throughout the year, this group also organizes public talks and workshops. Each reading group focuses on a particular reading circulated in advance, and may also include short informal presentations by current ICASP students, artists or community groups. This group is coordinated by the current ICASP postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Guelph. The group meets at a central location, currently the Guelph Public Library. This group is open to all—community members, faculty, and students. We welcome new participants at any time throughout the year. Please contact or 519-824-4120 x53885 for more information or to be added to our mailing list. See below for information on the past readings and past events. The group also organizes social occasions following the reading group sessions and speaker events.

Upcoming Events

  • Friday, November 6, 2:30-4:30 pm: This session will present David Lee. Taking Ornette Coleman's critically important 1959 engagement at the NY Five Spot as a point of departure, we will examine the wider implications of his innovations on post-1950s improvised music.

Past Speakers and Workshop Events


  • Douglas Ewart spoke about his improvisation projects and facilitated a communal improvisation with the audience.

Improv Week! February 24-26 2015

  • Tuesday, February 24, 7:00-9:30 pm, MCKN 203: CME Workshop (Joe Sorbara and Jacob Drab Sextet), co-sponsored by SOFAM, Silence, and IICSI
  • Wednesday, Februrary 25, 1:00-3:00 pm, MCKN 107: IICSI Reading Group on Collective Improvisation moderated by David Lee, co-sponsored by SOFAM, Silence and IICSI
  • Wednesday, February 25, 3:30-5:30 pm, MCKN 203: Joe Morris, improvisation workshop, hosted by Ken Aldcroft, sponsored by SOFAM
  • Thursday, February 26, 9:30-11:30 am, Silence (46 Essex St.): Jacob Drab Sextet, Open Workshop/performance (special Morning Music session), Fischlin and Diggins hosts, co-sponsored by SOFAM, Silence and IICSI
  • Thursday, February 26, 8:00-10:30 pm, Silence (46 Essex St.): Jacob Drab Sextet, Silence performance, Fischlin and Diggins hosts, co-sponsored by SOFAM, Silence and IICSI


  • Kimber Sider discussed aspects of her doctoral resarch around Inter-species Improvisation.
  • Georgia Simms, dancer, choreographer and facilitator of creative processes for civic engagement led a discussion title "A Moving Dialogue"
  • Cecil Foster delivered a talk titled "Independence and Genuine Multiculturalism: Improvizations of Life in the Key of the Social"
  • D'Arcy Philip Gray, composer and improvisor, led a discussion on improvisation and interactive electronics
  • University of Guelph PhD student David Lee gave a talk titled "Jazz, Modernism and the Bohemian"
  • Dr. James Harleyled a discussion on the relation between creative musicianship and proficiency in the realms of academic and popular electronic music
  • "Creative Vocalizing," a session led by Christine Pridmore, comprising a series of group vocal improvisations and a discussion.
  • Mimetic art and improvised music, a discussion led by Chris Tonelli, drawing on the work of Dr. Gary Peters.





  • The Improvising Eye Symposium
  • Winfried Simerling "Jazz, Diaspora, and the Writing of Black Anglophone Montreal"
  • Ric Knowles “Deep Improvisation and Dramaturgy Across Difference: “Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way”
  • Monique Mojica and Rob Wallace “Improvising Across Borders: A Workshop”
  • Myra Melford “Aural Architecture: In Conversation with the ICASP Reading Group”
  • Louise Campbell “At the Intersection@ A Workshop on Improvisation in Movement and Music”
  • Student Presentations by ICASP student researchers- Mauricio Martinez, Ronald East


Past Readings

...partly because I know that’s the only way that we could solve a creative problem [using improvisation with children ranging in abilities] and what doesn’t work is trying to impose a template on the students who are not able to respond to that template.

– Pauline Oliveros (in working with Abilities First)