Anthems are a means by which group identity is formed, and without group identity, argues to Professor Tracey Nicholls, the courage and imagination that justice work requires is in short supply. Today we discuss some of the anthems of the Black Lives Matter movement, such as Black Rage by Lauren Hill and Hell You Talmbout by Janelle Monáe. These anthems use improvisation and the ethics embedded in it to articulate shared values and create social memory. This passionate and jocular discussion weaves together peace studies, decolonization studies, and improvisation theory to offer a platform for reflection on the current social and political climate and how best to channel political emotions such as rage.
This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM in Guelph, Ontario on November 22, 2016.
Creative collaboration takes the reigns out of our hands. It demands we let go of control, leave aside our training, skill, mastery, and follow the free play of our embodied imagination. Sink into a hot bath and let the voices of Ellen Waterman and Alessandro Bertinetto warm up those rattly November bones. Waterman talks about her fluting explorations with pianist Dennis Peters during her sabbatical at Cambridge, UK. Bertinetto discusses the implications of Immanuel Kant’s description of beauty on improvisation, conceived as the site of genesis for new avenues of aesthetic communication.
This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM in Guelph, Ontario, on Tuesday November 8, 2016 at 5pm.
Four improvising composers, five great lakes: go. Phil Albert (Bass) and Patrick O’Reilly (Guitar) of Ontario meet with Patrick Booth (Saxophone) and Jon Taylor (Percussion) of Michigan for an intensive, week-long string of performances that embrace improvisation as much as composition. Hear the band discuss composition as a long-form improvisation (and the inverse!), staring down the monument (i.e. facing their recorded music as an autonomous object), and the urgency their regional dispersion gives to their playing when they get together, accentuating the vertiginous ‘now’ at the heart of all improvisation.
This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM in Guelph, Ontario at 5pm on Tuesday October 25, 2016.
Do you remember those hot humid days of summer that threatened to explode into thunderous storms and torrential rain? Listening to this week’s episode of Sound It Out will bring you back into those days, with field recordings, performances, and impromptu conversations taking place at the Electric Eclectics festival in Meaford, Ontario at the end of July, 2016. Hear Faun Fables, Lary 7, Maria Chavez, and Jennifer Castle along with other intriguing improvisatory scenarios! The multi-sensorial encounters occasioned by this three day festival extended the improvisational happenings onstage out into the wild landscape around it, fostering extraneous joy and jest in every resounding sentient present. This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM on Tuesday October 11, 2016 at 5pm EST.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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:
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.
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.