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ICASP partners with international colloquium

Four participants in the Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice (ICASP) project will speak at the L’Improvisation: Ordres et Désordres/Faits d’Art et Faits de Sociétié colloquium, to be held in Paris Jan. 21-22, 2009.

The colloquium is part of the Festival Sons d’hiver, a series of musical presentations throughout Paris that runs Jan. 23-Feb. 14, 2009.

In “Improvisational Utopias and Dystopias: The Case of Jeanne Lee”, Eric Lewis discusses how Archie Shepp’s 1969 recording “Blasé” (with Lee on vocals) anticipated a second wave of Afro-American feminism and foreshadowed an ideal society. Dr. Lewis is McGill University site coordinator, Executive Committee member, Management Team member, and co-investigator with ICASP.

Ellen Waterman explores the question: “How can research on improvisation transcend the academic realm to bring material effects to aggrieved communities?” in “Beyond Research: Improvisation, Pedagogy and Community”. She will present a case study of a multi-site community outreach program created by a coalition of artists, researchers, arts presenters and community organizations. Dr. Waterman, who is spending her sabbatical as visiting scholar at the Centre for Research and Teaching at McGill University, is the University of Guelph site coordinator, an Executive Committee member, a Management Team member, and a co-investigator with ICASP.

Research collaborator Pauline Oliveros discusses how musicians are, in a certain way, forerunners of a worldwide community and can translate the global consciousness through their music, in “The Collective Intelligence of Improvisation”.

Research collaborator Jesse Stewart examines saxophonist Steve Coleman’s pioneering work from the mid-1990s with Metrics, a group that fused elements of jazz and hip hop. “Improvising within ‘Nested Looping Structures’: Steve Coleman, Metrics, and the African Diaspora” will examine the group’s approach to improvisation within nested looping structures as a model for dialogue and intercultural collaboration within the African diaspora and beyond.

Drs. Lewis and Waterman will speak on January 21 in the morning and afternoon, respectively, and Oliveros and Dr. Stewart on January 22.

The conference takes place at Université Paris-Diderot/U.F.R. Lettres, Arts et Cinéma, Salle Pierre Albouy, 6th floor, Bâtiment Grands Moulins, 16 rue Marguerite Duras, 75013 Paris. Morning sessions run 9:30 a.m. to noon, afternoon sessions from 2:00-5:00 p.m.

For more details, see

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