IICSI in Athens, Greece Sounding Possibilities: Improvisation and Community Action Symposium

IICSI researchers Eric Lewis (McGill University) and Daniel Fischlin (University of Guelph) with Wadada Leo Smith and Jesse Gilbert. Photo by Yiannis Soulis.

“Sounding Possibilities: Improvisation and Community Action” is the title of a symposium that took place November 1 and 2 in Athens. A joint production of IICSI and the Onassis Cultural Centre, Sounding Possibilities was an interdisciplinary colloquium focused on contemporary improvisatory practices in music, music education and the performing arts, as well as on new forms of social and political action.

Organized by Christos Carras (Onassis Cultural Centre) and IICSI researcher Eric Lewis (McGill University), the symposium featured panels on Political Practice, Educational Practice, Music and Community, and Creative Practice. It brought IICSI researchers Joel Bakan (UBC), Ellen Waterman (Memorial), Daniel Fischlin (Guelph) together with scholars & practitioners Matthieu Saladin (Paris), Alexander Kioupkiolis (Thessaloniki), Gascia Ouzounian (Queen’s University, Belfast), Panos Kanellopoulos (Thessaly), Danae Stefanou (Thessaloniki), Raynaldo Young (London), Ruth Wright (UWO, Ontario), Randall Everett Allsup (Columbia), Jesse Gilbert (Woodbury), Bojana Cvejic (Utrecht), James Wallbank (Access Space, UK), Christos Passalis (blitz theatre, Athens) and Wadada Leo Smith (Cal Arts). The symposium also featured performances by the artists’ collective Medea Electronique, Wadada Leo Smith, and Glue, a Berlin-based trio with Tom Arthurs (trumpet), Miles Perkin (double bass) and Giorgos Dimitriadis (drums and percussion). Smith performed Ten Freedom Summers with his Golden Quartet (Anthony Davis, piano; John Lindberg, double bass; Pheeroan akLaff, drums; and featuring Jesse Gilbert, video).

The symposium featured a showing of … in a non-wimpy way, a film on contact improvisation pioneer Steve Paxton by Bojana Cvejić and Lennart Laberenz and available online here.

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