Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1)

Jun 27, 2023
Field:

Talk, Workshop

Location:

Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front

Time:

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Description:

Coinciding with the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) hosted their annual colloquium: an open public gathering of artists, academics, and community members to discuss and support the transformative work of the improvisational arts. Titled Improvising Futures, the five-part series aimed to invite diverse cultural perspectives into conversation, to expand the scope and depth of interdisciplinary research on improvisation, and to put knowledge into practice through collaborative community initiatives.
 
As IICSI researchers Ajay Heble, Daniel Fischlin, and George Lipsitz have written, “Improvisation is the creation and development of new, unexpected, and productive co-creative relations among people. It cultivates the capacity to discern elements of possibility, potential, hope, and promise where none are readily apparent.”

The first day of the colloquium took place in the Grand Luxe Hall and began with a live comics-drawing improv session led by the University of British Columbia's Comics Studies Research Cluster, with musical improvisations by trumpeter Bill Clark. This was followed by a talk and demonstration by Aram Bajakian titled “Leo Tutunjian 1938: The Story of An Oud's Journey to Vancouver.”

Presented in partnership with Coastal Jazz & Blues Society and the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation at the University of British Columbia.
Three people sit around a table covered with a black table cloth in the Grand Luxe Hall. The surface of the table is covered with drawing materials, coloured pens, and navy blue University of British Columbia branded letter-sized portfolios. In the background, Bill Clark sits at a baby grand piano and plays trumpet.
Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
Bill Clark blows into his trumpet while playing piano with his left hand. He is seated at a piano bench and wears a black Vancouver International Jazz Festival T-shirt and black shorts.
Bill Clark at Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
A comic strip drawn in pencil on a piece letter-sized paper. The page is divided into four quadrants, and the first frame reads Virgil. The second frame shows a drawing of an angry next-door neighbour who wears a T-shirt that says I am Mad! A speech bubble above their head reads Get off my lawn! The third square shows a character named Susan holding a barbell over their head. The final quadrant shows a drawing of a black cat labelled Boots the Cat. The comic rests on a stack of white papers on a table that is cluttered with index cards, pencils, and coloured crayons. A person’s hand is seen in the frame.
Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
A man wearing a blue patterned button-up shirt stands at the screen in the Grand Luxe Hall and points to a projection of a comic drawn in pencil. He is watched by two people at a table that is covered with drawing supplies. Bill Clark sits near the front of the room and plays trumpet while seated at a baby grand piano.
Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
Aram Bajakian sits on a piano bench in the Grand Luxe Hall with his ankle crossed over his knee. He wears round glasses, a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown Birkenstock mules. He speaks into a microphone, and to his left is a table with a laptop and projector that is casting an archival photograph on the screen behind him.
Aram Bajakian at Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
A hand accessorised with a wrist-watch and gold ring holds an oud.
Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
Aram Bajakian sits on a piano bench in the Grand Luxe Hall and plays an oud. A microphone points to the body of the instrument. Aram wears a white graphic T-shirt, blue jeans, and round glasses.
Aram Bajakian at Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
Aram Bajakian performs an oud demonstration. He is seated, and a microphone points to the body of the instrument. Aram wears a white graphic T-shirt, blue jeans, and round glasses.
Aram Bajakian at Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
Seated, Aram Bajakian gazes down while playing oud. Two microphones point to the body of the instrument. He wears round amber glasses, a white T-shirt, and blue jeans.
Aram Bajakian at Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
Aram Bajakian sits on a piano bench in the Grand Luxe Hall while holding an oud. He wears round glasses, a white T-shirt, and blue jeans. He is surrounded gear used in his presentation, including a microphone on a stand, his instrument case, and a table that holds a laptop and projector. Two seated audience members can be seen from behind.
Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
Aram Bajakian presents in the Grand Luxe Hall. He wears a white T-shirt, blue jeans, round glasses, and holds an oud.
Aram Bajakian at Improvising Futures: Sound Futures, Future Sounds (Day 1), Jun 27, 2023. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.

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Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.