AJIRN 2017- Program

AJIRN and the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University presents:

Agency in Jazz & Improvisation

 Discussion around agency has accumulated in significant research and commentary about jazz and improvisation – particularly in terms of aesthetics, culture and cognition. The thrust of the discussion seems to have moved from assuming the musician has singular agency in his or her work to a more distributed agency where other agents collaborate to create music.

In this conference, a cross-section of researchers from the field will explore the notion of agency in jazz from multiple perspectives, including:

  • the consequential and inter-related impact of diverse and dynamic agents on creativity and innovation in improvised and experimental jazz;
  • how agency is articulated in the analysis of performance/composition, including for example, identifying methods of analysis appropriate to a particular modality;
  • articulating and accommodating sociological concepts of agency, such as maintaining allegiance to localities in globalised, post-diasporic jazz;
  • how agents and agencies are characterised in performance experimentation;
  • the utilisation of agents and agencies external to the composer, performer and performance; and
  • the contrasting frameworks of musicologists and experimental performers/composers in relation to agency.

 Day 1

Opening Reception

5:00 – 6:30pm

Paris Cat, 6 Goldie Place, Melbourne, Australia

 Day 2

Time Loft (Upstairs) Downstairs
9:00 Registration
9:15 Introduction

Session 1


Session 2

Agency – Environment Jazz Scenes
9:30 Sam McAuliffe

Improvising in the Open: Place and Agency

Ben Phipps

Social Organisation and the Musical Practices of Jazz Bass players in Sydney, Australia


10:00 Mace Francis

Trio: Musician; Composer; Site


John Fitzgerald & Adam Simmonds

Collaboration Across Improvising Genres: Genre Crossing in an Australian Performing Musician Network


10:30 Jonathan Day

Genius Loci


Dave Wilson

Making the Jazz Scene in Macedonia: Historiography, Labour, and the Unevenness of Knowing the World through Sound


11:00 Break Break

Session 3


Session 4

Enabling Agency Integrating Creative Process
11:30 Jordan Murray

Rehearsal Strategies for the Enhancement of Agency in Spontaneously Improvised Music


Andy Sugg

Agents of Change: The Saxophone after Trane


12:00 Charles MacInnes

How do you Want me to Play That: Agency in the Improvising Contemporary Classical Art Music Ensemble?


John Mackey

An Extended Application of the Pentatonic Scale in Jazz Improvisation – Proposal of a New Modal Concept


12:30 Rod Davies

Towards a Practice-based Methodology for the Investigation of Agency within the Vocal Booth


Tom O’Halloran

Edit Bunker: a Case for Innovation in Jazz Through Agency of Digital/Moving Image


1:00 Lunch
2:00 Performance

Session 5

Agency in Performance
2:30 Robert Burke

Mapping Agency in an Improvisational Setting


3:00 Paul Williamson

How Can Re-Interpretative Decisions Contribute to Agency Within Jazz Performance?


3:30 Break

Session 6

Agency in Artistic Research Performance
4:00 Fiona Burnett

Agency in Twenty First Century Improvisation:Freedom and Restraint the Duality within Artistic Practice of the Performer- Composer


4:30 Nicole Canham & Karlin Love

Improvising a Life After Research: Making Things Happen or Letting them Happen? 



Session 7


Session 8

Post Graduate Papers Post Graduate Papers
5:00 Danilo Rojas

Practice and Research of the Cueca to Jazz and Improvisation


Alfredo Lopes

Jazzing: Intuition and Intellect


5:20 Dan Sheehan

The Improvisational Etude: A Model for Creative Practice


Nick Freer

Music Analysis, Ontological Paradigms and Semiological Principles of Conflation/Progression


5:40 Greg Stott

Thinking Like a Drummer: A Work in Progress for Guitar Improvisation

Tim Willis

The Development of Manipulative Aural Skills in Improvising Musicians via Mental Practice during Performance


6:00 Close  

Day 3

Time Loft (Upstairs)
9:00 Coffee

Session 9

Agency – Environment
9:30 Leon de Bruin

Meta Cognition and Distributed Creativities in Improvised Music Making


10:00 Roger Dean

Agency and Leadership in Keyboard Duo Improvisation


10:30 Bruce Johnson

Bringing Up The Bodies: Cognitive agency in jazz


11:00 Break

Session 10

Questioning Agency
11:30 Andrys Onsman

To Express Yourself: Agency and Identity in Improvised Experimental Music


12:00 Sage Harlow

The Illusion of Free Will and Its Implication for Improvising (and Invocation)


12:30 Vincent Giles

Determinism and Creative Freedom in Improvisation


1:00 Lunch
2:00 Performance

Session 11

Individual Agency – Australasian Context
2:30 Andrew Robson

Stompin’ the Austral Blues: McGann, Evans and Simmonds as Agents of Change


3:00 Aleisha Ward

Making Jazz Maori: Using Cultural Agency to Localise Jazz


3:30 Christopher Coady

The Agency of Lived Experience in Jazz Historiography


4:00 Break

Session 12

Post Graduate Papers
4:20 Michael Brady

Ensemble Roles in the Contemporary Jazz Guitar Trio


4:40 Jonathan Zion

Organic Interplay in a Jazz Trio context: Identifying Interactive, Communicative Language


5:00 Daniel Gough

Agency and Autonomy in Tertiary Jazz Piano Students’ Practice Routines


5:20 Zoe Kiboun



5:40 Joshua Hatcher

Composing in Conversation

6:00 Close