Skip to Content

Improvisation, Technology, and Representation

Karl Coulthard

Published: 2010-05-18

TEXT: A mis-recorded live performance by Duke Ellington at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1956 is used as an entryway into a discussion of how technology mediates and creates representations of music. Detailed suggestions for further reading are also included at the end of the article. AUDIO: Two versions of the recording demonstrate the effects of technological mediation in sound recording.

Available Files

  • improvisation_technology_representation.pdf

    148 KB | application/pdf

  • 01_Festival_Junction_-_Studio_Version.m4a

    1 MB | audio/mp4

  • 02_Festival_Junction_-_Live_Version.m4a

    1 MB | audio/mp4


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