(Musical) Improvisation and Ethics project awarded 1.7 million Euros by Austrian Science Fund


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(Musical) Improvisation and Ethics

We are delighted to announce a major new research project entitled “(Musical) Improvisation and Ethics”, recently awarded 1.7 million Euros by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)’s Young Independent Researcher Group program (Zukunftskolleg, project ZK 93).

Led by musician and artistic researcher Christopher A. Williams (University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG)), anthropologist Caroline Gatt (University of Graz), and philosopher Joshua Bergamin (University of Vienna) with the collaboration of Prof. Deniz Peters (KUG), the project will investigate the improvisational foundations of ethical processes across a range of human and other-than-human activity. The researchers will practically experiment with and analyze agency, habituation, and value-formation in action over seven encounters with three leading experimental improvising musical ensembles: Splitter Orchester (Berlin), the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (Norway), and the klingt.org/estra (Vienna). Feedback between this hands-on artistic collaboration and cutting-edge theoretical work in the humanities and sciences will ground the synthesis of an innovative, holistic conceptual framework through which to understand the ethical significance of improvisation in social life beyond music and the arts.

We look forward to sharing this project with artists, scholars, and the lay public through public concerts and talks, academic and popular publications, an international conference, the development of a network for exchange on improvisation and ethics, and other informal events over the next four years. In autumn 2021, we plan to launch a project website to document and announce these activities. If you wish to be further involved and/or informed, please feel free to contact project coordinator Christopher A. Williams at christopher.williams@kug.ac.at.