AUMI Research Consortium at McGill Colloquium
The two-day (June 7/8) conference“Improvisation and Community Health / «Improvisation et santé communautaire»,sponsored by IICSI, the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy (IHSP), the Société des Arts Libres et Actuels (SALA), and the McGill Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI), began with a focus on the work of the AUMI (Adaptive Use Musical Instrument) Research Consortium. A gathering at the Mackay Centre School brought together researchers from McGill, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (including project founder and director Pauline Oliveros; Jonas Braasch, Thomas Ciufo, Henry Lowengard, and Leaf Miller), Memorial University (Ellen Waterman), University of Kansas (Abbey Dvorak, Elizabeth Boresow, Michelle Heffner Hayes, and Sherrie Tucker), and Carleton University (Jesse Stewart).
The AUMI intensive portion of the 2-day conference concluded with a discussion moderated by Jonathan Sterne on the “Future of AUMI.” One theme that everyone agreed on was that the opportunity to meet in person and share research-in-progress cannot be underestimated. While Skype meetings are helpful, they cannot compare to the dialogue enabled by the in-person meetings hosted by Eric Lewis and his team.
In Ottawa, Jesse Stewart works with the AUMI iPad app in schools, community arts organizations of people with disabilities, and the Propeller Dance Company, a mixed-ability dance group; some of his work can be seen in Andrew Hall’s documentary film Turning the Page at H’Art of Ottawa about a collaboration with H’Art of Ottawa and with Propeller Danceon YouTube.