Episode #48 – Honouring Ken Aldcroft

Spend the next hour bathing in the peaceful guitar sounds of improvising guitarist and musical community builder Ken Aldcroft. Co-founder of the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto, the Leftover Daylight Series, the NOW Series, and serving on the board of the Somewhere There musicians’ collective, Ken Aldcroft’s sudden passing on September 17th, 2016 put Canada’s creative music world into a cloud of stunned sadness. Read more about this intrepid musician at http://www.kenaldcroft.com/

This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM at 5pm on Tuesday September 27, 2016.

Episode #47 – Williamsburg, Brooklyn: A History of Experimental Music Spaces (90s-00s) with Cisco Bradley

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the was a lawless environment on the other side of the Williamsburg Bridge that connects the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Gentrification and the aftermath of 9/11 made the Lower East Side undesirable for burgeoning young musicians, and Williamsburg with its industrial collapse and empty buildings stood waiting. Cisco Bradley of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn speaks with me today about his research into the rise and decline of the Williamsburg music scene. Take a look at his related website: https://jazzrightnow.com/ This discussion is in anticipation of his talk on the subject entitled “Pirate Radio and Bohemian Cafés: The Rise of the Williamsburg Scene in Brooklyn” at the Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium this week. Hear Dynasty Electric, Gold Sparkle Band, Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone, as well as Memorize the Sky, recorded live at Read Café.

This episode originally aired on Wednesday September 14th at 7pm on CFRU 93.3FM in Guelph Ontario.

Episode #46 – Hazarding Improvisation in Everyday Comportment with Marcel Swiboda

Is improvisation a vital constituent of the everyday practices underlying vibrant and healthy psychic life? Marcel Swiboda discusses this idea with me in a detailed look at Of the Refrain by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. We consider historical and technological forces that constrain our ability to improvise daily, and whether professional improvising musicians, such as Ornette Coleman, provide the antidote to a stultifying livelihood characterized by repetition of sameness, rather than difference. This conversation is a preview of the talk Marcel Swiboda (University of Leeds) will give at the Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium entitled “Contingent Comportments: Improvisational Modes of Being and Knowing in Music and Everyday Life.” Not to be missed!

This episode originally aired Tuesday September 13, 2016 at 5pm on CFRU 93.3FM in Guelph, Ontario .

Episode #45 – Jazz Buddhists and Improvisatist Giving with Tracy McMullen

The list of jazz innovators who described Buddhism as central to their music and personal purpose is long – Ernestine Anderson, Herbie Hancock, Buster Williams, Richard Davis, Hamid Drake, and Terri Lyne Carrington are just a few. In this episode, Prof. Tracy McMullen discusses the implications of jazz buddhism on how we think about Black Critical Praxis, which, she contends, has been too caught up in the politics of recognition and the performative vision of the subject, as described by theorists such as Judith Butler with a basis in Hegel’s dialectic of self-consciousness. In this energetic and inspiring discussion, Mullen considers the history of jazz as Black Critical Praxis to recommend an improvisatist account of the subject over the widely accepted performative view. Hear songs from Ernestine Anderson and Herbie Hancock.

This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM at 6pm on Monday September 12, 2016.

Episode #44 – Jazz is more than Jazz: A Guided Musical Preview of the Guelph Jazz Festival 2016

The Guelph Jazz Festival has been taking place annually since 1994, attracting world-class performers and audiences to dear friendly Guelph, refreshing our spirits for the back-to-school season. This week’s episode of Sound It Out showcases a selection of music from performers that will be on stage at this year’s event. See the full festival schedule here:

http://www.guelphjazzfestival.com/2016

You will hear musical selections and minimalist commentary from your host Rachel Elliott. Featuring songs by Cuban-Canadian pianist David Virelles, Peregrine Falls, and Not the Wind, Not the Flag, Esmerine, Amina Claudine Myers, and Myra Melford. You may be surprised by what you hear in this mostly-music edition of Sound It Out! This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM on August 30, 2016 at 5pm.

 

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/