Episode #43 – Crepuscule in the Arboretum with Douglas R. Ewart

Imagine wandering around an arboretum and running into pods of musicians, dancers, puppets, and percussive farming equipment amid hundreds of other wandering folk. This is what took place on May 18th, 2016 in the Guelph Arboretum, the culminating event of Douglas R. Ewart’s term as Improviser-in-Residence. Crepuscule brings together diverse communities in a playful, multidimensional improvisation with the natural world with a focus on fostering love acceptance of self and other. This episode is a collage of field recordings peppered with interviews and reflections on the musical events and social collisions that took place on the unseasonably cold day in May 2016. Featuring Environmental Percussion with Richard Burrows, Mino Ode Kwewak N’Gamowak/ Good Hearted Women Singers, Puppets Elora etc. 

This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3 FM, Guelph’s community radio station, on August 16, 2016.

Episode #42 – Improvising Electronics with Gambletron

When you look at the mess of equipment in front of electronic musical experimenter Lisa Gamble, your head can start to swim. The mystery of musicianship is always apparent when you observe an instrument not being played. By what sorcery will they coax this object into music? We wonder this about even the most straightforward instruments. The magic in the encounter between the musician and her instruments is the theme of Lisa Gamble’s approach to making wicked glitchy beats out of odd and old adapted electronics. Gamble’s educated-guess, trial-and-error attitude eschews attempts to control or master instruments; she explores and responds, leaving them the autonomy be surprising. The result is fresh, energetic, and often, danceable. This conversation with Lisa Gamble originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM Guelph’s community radio station on July 19, 2016. 

Episode #41 – IICSI Research Studio Session

The International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation has a number of graduate student researchers working with them at the University of Guelph. In this episode you will meet them! There are seven 3-minute speeches by IICSI researchers detailing their interest in improvisation and how they do their research contained in today’s program. One of these speakers is the host of this show, me! You will hear me speak about my motivation and approach to making this show, and why sometimes I under-explain what the show is about. Please add comments below or on our Soundcloud page (https://soundcloud.com/improvisationinstitute) so that I can get a sense of what you think is working and what you think should be improved! In addition to my ramblings you will hear about Toronto improvised music history, avoiding hierarchies through dialogic pedagogy, the improvised archive, the cinema of improvisation, and the ethics of interspecies engagement. This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM (cfru.ca) in Guelph, Ontario on July 4, 2016. Send me a tweet @Cs_walk_with_me



Episode #40 The Origins of Jazz Experimentalism in East Germany – Harald Kisiedu talks about Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky

What comes to mind when you think about East Germany during the Cold War? Transnational black experimentalism? On today’s episode of Sound It Out historical musicologist Harald Kisiedu traces the development of experimental jazz through the innovative musical dynamo Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky. Kisiedu shows how the institutional discourses of the time pinpoint aesthetics as a critical location for the negotiation of political values, particularly surrounding imperialism, democracy, the West, and the Soviet Union. Hear about socialist realism, the specter of decadence, and the rooting of experimentalist influences from the United States in this meticulously researched lesser-known history of an important branch of experimentalism as a transnational phenomenon. This episode initially aired on May 24, 2016 on CFRU 93.3FM at 5 o’clock.

Episode #39 – Adaptave Use Technology (archive conversation)

One way of understanding the social importance of improvisation is its accessibility – anyone can improvise with anything, so long as the musical relationships involved respect the rules of improvisatory engagement – good listening, judicious risk taking, responsibility for others etc. The tight and tired world of elitist musical aims is no longer palatable to many of us, and improvisation, whether in the world of contemporary classical music, traditional forms of the folk, or jazz and its progeny, has shown the way forward in the 20th Century.

But how accessible is improvisation?  In this archived interview from 2011, Mauricio Martinez speaks scholars, musicians, artists, and technologists from the Deep Listening Institute and the Adaptive Use Musical Instruments Project about the adaptable musical software (AUMI) which enables those with disabilities to make musical phrases play through gesture and movement.

Hear Occupational Therapist Leaf MillerPauline Oliveros, Gillian Siddall, Ellen Waterman, Sherrie Tucker, Jaclyn Heyen, Paula Josa-Jones, Cera Yiu, and Iris Hodgson discuss the motivational beginnings of the project, their experiences working with AUMI at Abilities First in Poughkeepsie, New York, and what it means to think about improvisation as a human right. This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM  community radio station in Guelph, Ontario. It aired on May 10, 2016 at 1700h.

On a side note, one of the participants in this conversation, Jaclyn Heyen, is currently undertaking a and blogging about a cross-country solo (with dog) motorcycle journey with trailer. Follow her at: http://www.jhblueroad.com/

Episode #38 – Music Ontology with Eric Lewis

This conversation with philosopher Eric Lewis of McGill University centres around the question ‘what is music’, or more specifically, ‘what is improvised music?’ Prof. Lewis explains why a consideration of improvised music can re-frame some of the questions traditionally associated with the philosophical study of music, such as how a musical work is related ontologically to a score or composition, and its associated performances. Lewis discusses his proposal to revive intentionalism in aesthetics, making the, I think, highly appetizing suggestion that we ought to think of improvised music according to the vagaries of the representational visual arts, not via the overblown concepts on offer by traditional music ontology. This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM in Guelph Ontario on April 12, 2016, at 5pm.

Episode #37 – Silence and Mindfulness with Gary Diggins

“Sound work as soul work.” This is how Gary Diggins describes what he does in his chamber of wonders located in the back of Guelph’s ‘venue for adventurous sounds’, Silence. A life-long musician and masterful musical healer, Diggins has worked with individuals and groups around the world using sound to elevate consciousness, promote healing, remind us of our in uterine beginnings, and “listen the world into wholeness.” Hear us discussing his role in Mindfulness Without Borders, his Monday morning improvisations with Big Beat, the use of vocables in shamanic therapeutic practices, helping trained singers meet their edge, Alfred Tomatis, Robert Bly, Mind-Up, and more. This episode that aired originally on CFRU 93.3FM on March 29th, 2016.

Episode #36: AACM Origins and Apocrypha – George E. Lewis’s Opera ‘Afterword’

Can you make a libretto out of an academic book? This is the question George E. Lewis asked and answered during his visit to the University of Guelph on March 4th, 2016. Drawing from the audio recordings of early AACM organizational meetings where members discussed their motivations for forming the Association, Lewis responds in the affirmative, transforming a chapter of his 2009 book A Power Stronger than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music into the Opera Afterword. Hear Herald Kisiedu in conversation with Lewis on this episode! Originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM on March 15, 2016.

Episode #35: Solo Improvisation at Somewhere There Festival

If improvising is sometimes understood as a form of dialogue, what are we to say about solo improvising? Perhaps it should be understood as a dialogue with oneself, or between performer and audience, or performer and their own instrument, or even the performer’s own sonic memories, of trucks, birds, voices. Maybe it has another sort of meaning all together, a sensory-motor, embodied sort of meaning. Maybe it has no meaning at all, in which case we might wonder how it got so lucky, so pure, so empty in this world of over-signification. This past weekend I attended the Somewhere There creative music festival in Toronto at the Tranzac. On this episode you will hear a roundtable discussion moderated by Joe Sorbara featuring the thoughts and sounds of: Peter Luteck, Germaine Liu, Paul Newman, Kyle Brenders, Ken Aldcroft, and Nicole Rampersaud. This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM on March 8th, 2016.

Episode #34: Adam Kinner – Atmosphere and the Transmutable Archive

The weather affects us. This is never more obvious than in the middle of winter! But what would happen if we began to respond to atmospheric influences artistically, rather than just practically? If instead of cinching up our scarves we responded to the falling snow with a little improvised saxophone? And then paired that musical response with dance or video? Does the weather pattern live on, preserved in these artistic mediums, transforming itself with each performance, affecting us with its motion? These are the topics that I discuss with saxophonist, choreographer, and Montreal-based weather artist Adam Kinner. Adam brings us into a way of seeing the aliveness of our environment as a sort of performance, an affective choreography. Prepare for enchantment! This episode of Sound It Out originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM in Guelph, Ontario, Canada on Tuesday, February 2, 2016. It is produced in conjunction with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation.