Symposium on improvisation at University of Exeter, March 2010

I have been busy arranging a symposium on a topic I am particularly interested in, namely improvisation in music and performance. This topic ties in with my work with Oto Asobi. The symposium will be held on the 25 and 26 March 2010 at the University of Exeter. I am very pleased that we will have contributors from Japan as well as Denmark, UK, USA, Canada and Sudan. You can find out more about this symposium here

Flirting with Uncertainty: Improvisation in Performance

SocArts International Symposium, 25 and 26 March 2010, University of Exeter

Although our lives are filled with carefully rehearsed and polished performances, from rock music performed in large arenas to Shakespeare plays, improvisation has been an important element in various time-based arts throughout history. From co-operative folk music to baroque music, from slam poetry to jazz and from street theatre to “Improvisation” as a separate musical genre, there has always been room for the uncertainty that improvisation brings. Improvisation as a technique is also crucial in applied areas of music such as community music, community drama and music therapy where music acts as a medium for collaboration and communication. Despite this, most social research focuses on the polished and rehearsed performances or the consumption of such art.

With this symposium we will explore the possibilities inherent in improvisations: Is improvisation a linear process aiming at reaching certainty or is it a challenge to flirt with uncertainty? What does improvisation make possible in terms of collaborations, connections and creations? Does it provide a different kind of energy in the artistic creation?  Does it affect the audience’s perception and experience of the music? Does it allow for more participation?

This symposium brings together international and local researchers and practitioners to discuss the roles and potentials of improvisation in various settings and artistic expressions.

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