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 Miller, Pauline 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/