Negotiated Moments

Improvisation, Sound, and Subjectivity

Negotiated Moments

Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice

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Book Pages: 376 Illustrations: 11 illustrations Published: March 2016

Gender and Sexuality, Music > Sound Studies, Theater and Performance > Performance Art

The contributors to Negotiated Moments explore how subjectivity is formed and expressed through musical improvisation, tracing the ways the transmission and reception of sound occur within and between bodies in real and virtual time and across memory, history, and space. They place the gendered, sexed, raced, classed, disabled, and technologized body at the center of critical improvisation studies and move beyond the field's tendency toward celebrating improvisation's utopian and democratic ideals by highlighting the improvisation of marginalized subjects. Rejecting a singular theory of improvisational agency, the contributors show how improvisation helps people gain hard-won and highly contingent agency. Essays include analyses of the role of the body and technology in performance, improvisation's ability to disrupt power relations, Pauline Oliveros's ideas about listening, flautist Nicole Mitchell's compositions based on Octavia Butler's science fiction, and an interview with Judith Butler about the relationship between her work and improvisation. The contributors' close attention to improvisation provides a touchstone for examining subjectivities and offers ways to hear the full spectrum of ideas that sound out from and resonate within and across bodies. 

Contributors. George Blake, David Borgo, Judith Butler, Rebecca Caines, Louise Campbell, Illa Carrillo Rodríguez, Berenice Corti, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Nina Eidsheim, Tomie Hahn, Jaclyn Heyen, Christine Sun Kim, Catherine Lee, Andra McCartney, Tracy McMullen, Kevin McNeilly, Leaf Miller, Jovana Milovic, François Mouillot, Pauline Oliveros, Jason Robinson, Neil Rolnick, Simon Rose, Gillian Siddall, Julie Dawn Smith, Jesse Stewart, Clara Tomaz, Sherrie Tucker, Lindsay Vogt, Zachary Wallmark, Ellen Waterman, David Whalen, Pete Williams, Deborah Wong, Mandy-Suzanne Wong


"Siddall and Waterman provide new and often fascinating terrain on which to test theatre and performance studies’ thinking about liveness, the body, and memory (among other things)." — Susan Bennett, Theatre Journal

"Negotiated Moments makes a number of important contributions to critical studies in both improvisation and identity." — Marc Hannaford, Women and Music

"Collective insights touch on a number of themes that cut to the core of critical improvisation studies. . . . The editors of Negotiated Moments have assembled an impressive and diverse array of studies." — Joel V. Hunt, Notes

"A timely and relevant collection guiding the way for a radically inclusive approach to critical studies of improvisation. . . . One of the outstanding intellectual contributions of this book lies in its presentation of so many viable alternatives to prevailing dominant views about improvised music focused on individual genius and legitimacy of lineage." — Miki Kaneda, Journal of the Society for American Music

"Gathering major figures across several disciplines, Negotiated Moments is a comprehensive, field-defining, and state-of-the-art collection that maps out new approaches to studying improvisation. By covering a diverse set of topics, the contributors highlight how improvisation studies intersects with a range of new theoretical paradigms such as affect theory, embodiment theory, cognitive analysis, and memory studies. This ambitious book will reach audiences in a number of fields, both inside and outside of music."  — Will Straw, coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock

"Negotiated Moments is a timely and exciting multidisciplinary collection that is not only essential reading for critical improvisation studies specialists, but is valuable for scholars and students in ethnomusicology, performance studies, sound and popular music studies, and media studies. I know of no other place to turn in the existing literature on improvisation to find the range of perspectives offered here."  — Tara Rodgers, author of Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Gillian Siddall is Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Lakehead University. 
Ellen Waterman is Professor of Music at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the coeditor of Art of Immersive Soundscapes.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  xi

Introduction: Improvising at the Nexus of Discursive and Material Bodies / Gillian Siddall and Ellen Waterman  1

1. Improvisation within a Scene of Constraint: An Interview with Judith Butler / Tracy McMullen  21

Part I. Listening, Place, and Space

2. "How Am I to Listen to You?": Soundwalking, Intimacy, and Improvised Listening / Andra McCartney  37

3. Community Sound [e]Scapes: Improvising Bodies and Site/Space/Place in New Media Audio Art / Rebecca Caines  55

Part II. Technology and Embodiment

4. Improvising Composition: How to Listen to the Time Between / Pauline Oliveros  75

5. The Networked Body: Physicality, Embodiment, and Latency in Multisite Performance / Jason Robinson  91

6. Openness from Closure: The Puzzle of Interagency in Improvised Music and a Neocybernetic Solution / David Borgo  113

7. Mediating the Improvising Body: Art Tatum's Postmortem Performance in a Posthuman World / Andrew Raffo Dewar  131

Part III. Sensibility and Subjectivity

8. Banding Encounters: Embodied Practices in Improvisation / Introduction and Conclusion by Tomie Hahn; Essays by Louise Campbell, Lindsay Vogt, Simon Rose, George Blake, Catherine Lee, Sherrie Tucker, François Mouillot, Jovana Milovic, and Pete Williams

9. Learning to Go with the Flow: David Rokeby's Very Nervous System and the Improvising Body / Jesse Stewart  169

10. Stretched Boundaries: Improvising across Abilities / Introduction and Conclusion by Sherrie Tucker; Essays by Pauline Oliveros, Neil Rolnick, Christine Sun Kim, Clara Tomaz, David Whalen, Leif Miller, and Jaclyn Heyen  181

Part IV. Gender, Trauma, and Memory

11. The Erotics of Improvisation in Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall on Your Knees / Gillian Sidall 201

12. Corregidora: Corporeal Archaeology, Embodied Memory, Improvisation / Nina Sun Eidsheim and Mandy-Suzanne Wong

13. Theorizing the Saxophonic Scream in Free Jazz Improvisation / Zachary Wallmark  233

14. Extemporaneous Genomics: Nicole Mitchell, Octavia Butler, and Xenogenesis / Kevin McNeilly and Julie Dawn Smith  245

Part V. Representation and Identity

15. Faster and Louder: Heterosexist Improvisation in North American Taiko / Deborah Wong   265

16. Improvisation and the Audibility of Difference: Safa, Canadian Multiculturalism, and the Politics of Recognition / Ellen Waterman  281

17. Performing the National Body Politic in Twenty-First-Century Argentina / Illa Carrillo Rodríguez and Berenice Corti  307

Discography  327

References  329

Contributors  351

Index  355
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6096-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6082-7
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