Archives for category: Improvisation

music and ethics

… more good news … after the launch of “my” MOOC Music & Society a couple of days ago, today I found on my doormat the paperback version of “Music and Ethics”, the book I wrote with Nanette Nielsen. 35 GBP instead of the 95 GBP for the hard cover. IOW, affordable for more people!

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Just published in Revista Musica: a dialogue between myself and a good friend of mine, Brazilian composer/improviser and Professor of Music, Rogerio Costa. Although the dialogue has as its main topic (the borders of) musical improvisation, it also touches on issues of identity, (Brazilian) politics, and educational systems. Here’s a link to the article.

DARE 2015
9 – 11 November 2015
Orpheus Institute | Ghent | Belgium

DARE 2015, The Dark Precursor, is the first international conference entirely dedicated to the relation between artistic research and French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and/or Félix Guattari. The three-day will feature both artistic presentations and scholarly papers that investigate this relation.
The Deleuze/Guattari’s philosophy acts as a key reference for many artist-researchers, who engage with knowledge across academic and non-academic fields of practice. The extent and depth of their influence on artistic research is largely uncharted, nor has their philosophy ever before been evaluated from the perspective of artists.

car sounds

Perhaps not with the most well-known artists, but certainly one of the nicest sound art festivals in The Netherlands, at a beautiful spot and in an interesting building: the PNEM Sound Art Festival in Uden.

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Special references: great improv performance by the French cello player, Soizic Lebrat; the presence of the grand old man of Dutch sound art, Willem de Ridder, and the accessible “In-formed Music” by Alan Courtis for 15 players and piles of newspapers.

in-formed music 2 alan courtis (arg)soizic lebrat (f)

Palesdtra NuSon 1

vs. Interpretation. Bit of a strange title for a really interesting conference on improvisation I’m currently attending in Prague. Very nice mixture of paper presentations, workshops, and concerts. Today (July 17) great lecture-performance by violinist Mary Oliver, actually a homage to Misha Mengelberg. Also a great concert by George Lewis (electronics, trombone), Pauline Oliveros (accordeon) and Joelle Leandre (double bass). At a certain moment the concert connected to a text I recently wrote for my forthcoming book on improv, complexity, and singularity. The text is about the relation between improv and play and one of the characteristics of play is, at least according to Johan Huizinga in his Home Ludens that it is disconnected from “real” life. However, in this venue where the temperature reached some 35 degrees celcius, Joelle suddenly added her voice to the music, singing the words “It is hot”. In that very moment she broke the disconnection between play and real life – IOW, real life entered the improvisation, if only through text.
Tomorrow a keynote by Pauline and performances by Jef Goldberg, Phil Niblock, and Iva Bittova (among others).

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The Improvising Across Borders Conference will take place on July 17-19, 2014, throughout downtown Prague.

Keynote speakers: George Lewis, Pauline Oliveros, and Dana Reason.

I will present a paper on the role of technology in the field of musical improvisation. Central question is if humans are indispensable for improvisation. I will argue that, although human input might always be present in any improvisation, it can be a minor actant in certain occasions; sometimes, technology is the most important (f)actor in an improv event.

You can find more information on the conference  (though not really a lot) on http://agosto-foundation.org/iab/


To end 2013 here’s some nice guitar music by Macedonian musician Vlatko Stefanovski. I will dedicate some pages to his “interpretations” of the famous Macedonian folktune “Jovana, Jovanke” in my forthcoming (e-)book on improvisation, complexity, and singularity which I’m hoping to finish in 2014. Next to that I will be working on a Routledge sounding art companion which I’m editing with Barry Truax from Vancouver and Vincent Meelberg, my colleague at ACPA and co-editor of The Journal of Sonic Studies

Yeah! It’s there, my (co-author Nanette Nielsen from Nottingham U) new book on music and ethics. With the final answers on how music ‘as music’ might contribute to the (philosophical) discourses on ethics and to concrete moral behavior. Keywords: listening, interaction, and engagement. From Alban Berg to Jacques Derrida, from Bob Dylan to Alain Badiou, from Sachiko M to Gilles Deleuze, from the chants of football fans to Zygmunt Bauman, and from Richard Taruskin to sonic weapons … 

More info: click here