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Call for participants: Improvisers-in-Residence event at Exhibition Park

To Those Interested in Music, the Guelph Community, and Out-of-the-Ordinary Artistic Events:

We have been chosen to be the Improvisers-in-Residence' in Guelph this autumn, and we would like to invite you to be involved in a special event that we have conceived for Exhibition Park in the afternoon on Saturday, October 13th, 2012. (Rain-date: October 20th, 2012)

In collaboration with local professional-calibre musicians, we would like to work with intergenerational groups to develop the content for a dynamic, family-oriented outdoor event that celebrates the sharing of ideas and creativity across generations.

The model that we have in mind is grandparents making music with grandchildren, but we invite any interested 'grandparent-age' people, regardless of experience, to be involved, to work with children whom they know or with whom we can pair them.

The idea is to share each other’s songs – an adult with one or two children, for instance, though other formations are possible. During an informal meeting (60-90 minutes), with a professional musician as a facilitator, the children will teach adults the songs that they like to sing. Likewise, adults will teach the children songs that they like to sing. If energy, motivation, and time allow, we can write a new song together. After a second meeting, enough songs will have been learned (or written) to have around 5-8 minutes of repertoire.

Then, on October 13th (rain date on October 20th), the various groups will be set-up under or next to particular trees in the park, where, at staggered and overlapping start-times, they will casually perform their repertoire of songs. The audience – family, friends, neighbours, others – with the map-based event-program in hand will wander through the park to get little glimpses of each group. The presentation will be casual, the 'performance pressure' will be low, and fun will be the main goal.

Other intergenerational groups will work in a dance vein – with Susanna (who is principally a dance artist) and Guelph-based dance professionals – on the porches of homes surrounding the park. The event will last around two hours, though individual contributions will be quite short.

We are actively seeking participants for this project. Enthusiasm and open-mindedness are far more vital than musical experience or skill. Kindly contact us if you would like to be involved in this special event, or would like to recommend someone whom you think we should contact directly about their involvement. For those more interested in dance and creative movement than in music, there is room for you too.

Expressions of interest in as well as questions about this project can be sent to Mari Biehn, Project Assistant (; 519.824.4120 x53958).

We are looking forward to working with you and your friends.

Warm wishes,

Scott Thomson & Susanna Hood
ICASP Improvisers-in-Residence

Listening itself, an improvisative act engaged in by everyone, announces a practice of active engagement with the world, where we sift, interpret, store and forget, in parallel with action and fundamentally articulated with it ("Mobilitas Animi" 113).

– George E. Lewis