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Improtech Paris – Philly 2017

Dec 11, 2017 - Dec 13, 2017


University of Pennsylvania



Improtech Paris – Philly 2017

Workshop – Festival, December 11th – 13th, 2017 at the University of Pennsylvania

11th – 13th, Workshop keynotes, presentations, demos and performances at U.Penn from 9:30 – 18:00
11th, Evening concert at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
13th, Evening concert at The Rotunda

Improtech Paris – Philly (ikPP) gathers scholars, technologists, musicians, makers, around the idea of musical improvisation with digital intelligence (IDI), taking notice of the emergence and development of this new creative field. ikPP creates a link between the european and american research and creation scenes through the symbolic matching of two of their more eminent emblems, Paris and Philadelphia, just as it did a few years ago with Paris and New York.

Five years after its first iteration in New-York the ImproTech workshop – festival formula is back again to see the technological, aesthetical, and sociological evolutions that happened since the last gathering. The meeting place in Philadelphia seems a natural destination, for its unique improvised music scene and history, and its perpetual enchantment with so many ever floating historical musical figures.

The ImproTech Paris – Philly workshop will take place at the University of Pennsylvania from Dec. 11 to Dec. 13 2017, with two evening concerts at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (dec. 11th) and The Rotunda (dec. 13th), and social events at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA).

Scholars, students, musicians, makers will come from many places in europe and the US to talk about their work, demo, teach and perform. ikPP will flourish on the explosive encounter of prominent research labs and scholars, well established musical figures of Jazz and contemporary music, and the young avant-garde / underground scene of Philadelphia and surroundings.

Highlights on participants

« A legend in the field of avant-garde jazz and contemporary music, Mr. Roscoe Mitchell is a founding member of the world renowned Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and many music ensembles. »

« Described as “a state-of-the-art musical thinker” and a “dazzling saxophonist,” by The New York Times, Steve Lehman (b. New York City, 1978) is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. Lehman’s pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), So Percussion, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, the JACK Quartet, the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, and the Talea Ensemble. His recent recording, Mise en Abîme (Pi, 2014) was called the #1 Jazz Album of the year by NPR Music and The Los Angeles Times. And his previous recording, Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi, 2009), was chosen as the #1 Jazz Album of the year by The New York Times. The recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, Lehman is an alto saxophonist who has performed and recorded nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran, Georgia-Anne Muldrow, George Lewis, Meshell Ndegeocello, and High Priest of Anti-Pop Consortium, among many others. »

« Born in Uzeste in 1945, Bernard Lubat, pianist, vibraphonist, keyboard and accordion player, singer, composer and actor, began studying piano in 1957, attending the Bordeaux Conservatory where he discovered the drums, jazz and Milt Jackson. In 1961, he entered the Paris Conservatory where in 1963 he was awarded the prize for best percussionist. He was then taken on by the Jef Gilson Orchestra (1965) where he came into contact with Michel Portal, Bernard Vitet, François Jeanneau, Jean-Louis Chautemps, Henri Texier… He worked with Jean-Luc Ponty and Martial Solal, as a vibraphonist and for Stan Getz and Eddy Louiss as a drummer. At the same time he worked in contemporary music with Diego Masson, playing Varèse, Bartok, Xenakis, he took part in the premiere of Luciano Berio’s work Chemin 2 at the Scala de Milan and in the recording of Laborintus. Lubat has founded the world reknowned Uzeste Music Festival. He has also been a musical expert working on the OMax/ImproteK/Djazz project in collaboration with IRCAM and EHESS. »

« Composer, performer, historian, instrument builder, journalist, activist, kayak instructor, Bob Ostertag’s work cannot easily be summarized or pigeon-holed. He has published more than twenty CDs of music, two DVDs, and five books. His writings on contemporary politics have been published on every continent and in many languages. Electronic instruments of his own design are at the cutting edge of both music and video performance technology. He has performed at music, film, and multi-media festivals around the globe. His radically diverse collaborators include the Kronos Quartet, postmodernist John Zorn, heavy metal star Mike Patton, transgender cabaret start Justin Vivian Bond, British guitar innovator Fred Frith, Quebecois film maker Pierre Hébert, EDM star Rrose, jazz legend Anthony Braxton and many others. He is rumored to have connections to the shadowy media guerrilla group The Yes Men… »

« Mari Kimura is a violinist/composer and a leading figure in the field of interactive computer music. As a violinist, Mari is renowned for her mastery of subharmonics—the production of pitches that sound up to an octave below the violin’s lowest string—as well as for her dynamic performances as an improviser and her premieres of many notable compositions by today’s composers, including Luciano Berio and Salvadore Sciarrino, as well as a soloist with such major orchestras including the Tokyo Symphony and the Hamburg Symphony. She has received numerous awards and grants including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fromm Commission Award, a residency at IRCAM, and at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. »

« Matmos have released over ten albums on labels such as Matador and Thrill Jockey. They also have a history of rich collaborations with artists like Bjork, Antony, So Percussion, Terry Riley, The Kronos Quartet »

« David Rosenboom … has become one of the leading lights of interactive computer composition.” (The Village Voice). Recently lauded in The New York Times as an “avatar of experimental music,” David Rosenboom is a composer-performer, interdisciplinary artist, author and educator, who over five decades has explored the spontaneous evolution of musical forms, multidisciplinary composition and performance, unique languages for improvisation, cross-cultural collaborations, performance art and literature, interactive multi-media and new instrument technologies, art-science research and philosophy, and extended musical interface with the human nervous system. »

«LaDonna Smith is an American violinist, violist, vocalist, teacher, and musical impresario. A veteran of the Alabama’s legendary Surrealist scene, she has spent four decades pioneering and promoting the field of free improvisation as an art-form capable of ecstatic and explosive emotions, clarity, lyricism and raw human expression…. She has performed with Anthony Braxton, Peter Brotzmann, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Peter Kowald, Henry Kaiser, John Zorn, Andrea Centazzo, Dave Liebman, Anne LeBaron, Misha Feigin, Shaking Ray Levis, Rova Saxophone Quartet, and Susan Alcorn. Her discography includes recordings on Ictus, Tzadik, Table of the Elements, Leo Records, Meniscus, and Ishtar. »

« Chris Watford is a Boston/New York based bassoonist concerned with the expansion of the instrument’s capabilities. Praised for giving “smooth varnish” (Boston Globe) to his performances with a “clear consistent tone,” Watford works to advance the instrument’s relevance within diverse contexts. As a specialist in contemporary music, his performances transcend traditional practice to explore the limits of microtonality, extended techniques, improvisation and electroacoustics. … Watford has worked closely with such leading composers as Salvatore Sciarrino, Pierluigi Billone, Tristan Murail, Franck Bedrossian, Christian Wolff, John Harbison, and Elliott Carter. He is a member of Boston’s acclaimed new-music sinfonietta Sound Icon »

« One of the world’s premiere musical innovators on her instrument, Baltimore-based Susan Alcorn has taken the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country and western swing music. Soon she began to expand the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of modern classical music (Messiaen, Varèse, Penderecki), the deep listening of Pauline Oliveros, Astor Piazzolla’s nuevo tango, free jazz, and world musics (Indian rags, South American songs, and gamelan orchestra). Her pieces reveal the complexity of her instrument and her musical experience while never straying from a very direct, intense, and personal musical expression. Though primarily a solo performer, Alcorn has collaborated with numerous artists including Pauline Oliveros, Evan Parker, Eugene Chadbourne, Peter Kowald, Chris Cutler, Ellen Fullman, Le Quan Ninh, Sean Meehan, Joe McPhee, LaDonna Smith, Mike Cooper, Jandek, Fred Frith, Maggie Nicols, and Mary Halvorson »

«Camae Ayewa is an interdisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia. Moor Mother (Goddess) is her low fi/dark rap/chill step/ blk girl blues/witch rap/coffee shop riot gurl songs/southern girl dittys/black ghost songs/love chants/african warrior spells/kongo hoodoo/holly hill Mississippi root jams/project housing bop/baptism jazz/quantum futurism/anthropology of conscience/superdefstar gospel/Lima dream music/slaveship punk/soultronic beats/death poems project, with which she has toured worldwide and performed at numerous festivals »

« Charles Kely : Born in Madagascar, Jean-Charles Razanakoto aka Charles Kely Zana-Rotsy began to sing at age 5 and to play the guitar at age 8 in the family band. He started to play on stage at age 11.He has been twice the recipient of the RFI Award (Radio France International) in 2003 with Rajery and in 2009 with Mounira. His first solo album “Anilanao” was published in 2003, and his second “Zoma Zoma” in 2011. H

« KEROAÄN is a collaborative research project between IAN M FRASER and REED EVAN ROSENBERG exploring composition of electronic music by an artificial intelligence. Pieces are diffused in real time with no human intervention whatsoever as the machine agent manipulates the qualities of chosen non-standard synthesis and microsound techniques. In live diffusions, the machine agent additionally controls laser apertures and an array of strobe lighting which collectively act as a visual projection of the agent’s internal state as it structures the performance. A distinctly non-human logic pervades the resultant arrangements of chaotic sounds and high-intensity lighting, presenting an immersive, alien environment. »

« György Kurtág Jr is a composer, performer and researcher specialized in the design of innovative methods for teaching digital instruments. Fascinated by the study of musical behavior(s), his work relies principally on the Collective Intelligence Theory. His research works notably include the capture and analysis of musical gestures. He also co-developed the Méta-Mallette (Puce-Muse-Paris), the Continuator Project (Sony C.S.L-Paris), Dolabip (SCRIME-Bordeaux), Midi controller for Guitar by Shadow, (Germany). Nowadays, he is the main Arts&Sciences Coordinator of the SCRIME studio, at the University of Bordeaux.