These are stories about failures. Failures of imagination, of peoples and groups, of how lofty goals can be deceptions. And those deceptions can be limiting, and affect violence. I want to move to a point where we can discuss, critically, both the utopian promises of the practices, processes, tribes and communities surrounding improvisation, and their destructive and violent potentials.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the above stories of improvisation-in-crisis are from events with self-professed lofty goals…. I think, in both cases, those of us involved took community, solidarity, resilience, trust and empathy for granted. It’s not just that the groundwork of trust and safety was never established for the group (although that’s part of it), but that we lazily subscribed to the dogma that the nature of improvisation would itself somehow save us. [Read the rest…]
Thanks to Laonikos Psimikakis-Chalkokondylis at The Sampler for asking me to write the piece. In writing this piece I’m indebted to exchanges and conversations with several improvisers. Big thanks, in particular, to Caroline Kraabel, Corey Mwamba, and Lauren Sarah Hayes.
Thoughts and questions in response to Translating Improvisation’s symposium back in May from the POV of an institutionally unaffiliated, sometimes teacher, amateur scholar and anthropologist [previous twitter transcripts…]. Below the fold is an unedited twitter transcript of my observations from Just Improvisation. My original observations came in the form of tweets (some written ‘live’, most posted subsequently) via @hanearlpark that spanned the first panel discussions, Ellen Waterman’s keynote presentation, concert performances by Okkyung Lee and Maria Chavez, the Deep Listening Workshop with Pauline Oliveros, and the workshop-performance which forms the main subject of my discussions.
2:00pm: Welcome & Introduction (Paul Stapleton and Sara Ramshaw)
2:15pm: Panel 1: ‘Child Protection as Social Practice: Challenges and Possibilities’
Chaired by: Marcella Leonard (Independent Social Worker) with: Denise McBride QC (Senior Barrister) and John Devaney (Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast – School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work)
3:45pm: Coffee/Tea Break
4:00pm: Keynote 1: Ellen Waterman, ‘Improvisation and the Audibility of Difference’
5:00pm: Wine Reception
5:30pm: Double-bill concert: Okkyung Lee and Maria Chavez
Sat 30 May 2015
10:00am: Deep Listening Workshop (led by Pauline Oliveros)
11:00am: Parallel Workshops: Musical Improvisation / Hydra (Legal Improvisation)
Improvisation workshop musicians: Paul Stapleton, Adnan Marquez-Borbon, Maria Chavez, Okkyung Lee, Pauline Oliveros, Ellen Waterman, Tom Arthurs, Matt Bourne, Dave Kane, Steve Davis, Phil Smyth, Simon Rose, Michael Speers, Dennis Peters, Han-earl Park, Ed Devane, Bennett Hogg and Rachel Austin
1:00pm: Lunch break
2:00pm: Panel 2: Informal performances and open discussion about workshops
3:00pm: Keynote 2: Pauline Oliveros, ‘The Ethics and Practice of Listening’
4:15pm: Panel 3 & Plenary Discussion: ‘Imagining the Future’
Chaired by Georgina Born (Professor of Music and Anthropology, Oxford) with: Siobhan Keegan QC (President of the Family Bar Association of Northern Ireland)
5:15pm: Closing Remarks (Sara Ramshaw and Paul Stapleton)
Bar & Co.
London WC2R, England
8:30pm (doors: 8:00pm)
Han-earl Park (guitar) and Dominic Lash (double bass) presented by Boat-ting. Also performing: Steve Noble (drums), Massimo Magee (saxophone) and Tom Wheatly (double bass); Tom Jackson (clarinet), Benedict Taylor (viola) and Daniel Thompson (guitar); Crush!!! (Ian MacGowan: trumpet; Sonic Pleasure: masonry; and Mark Browne: saxophone); and Sibyl Madrigal (poetry) and Alex Ward (clarinet). Admission: £8 (£5).
[Details…] [Boat-ting page…]