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University of Music and Performings Arts Graz

(Musical) Improvisation and Ethics project launch

Dear friends and colleagues,

We are delighted to announce the launch of the four-year project '(Musical) Improvisation and Ethics', its brand-new website at, and an occasional newsletter.

Supported by a 1.7 million Euro grant from the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF, no. ZK93), the project's core team consists of musician and artistic researcher Christopher A. Williams (University of Music and Performing Arts Graz), anthropologist Caroline Gatt (University of Graz), and philosopher Joshua Bergamin (University of Vienna). Together we will investigate the improvisational foundations of ethical processes across a range of human and other-than-human activity.

Our case studies -- the public heart of the project -- are a series of seven live encounters with musicians. Our collaborators in this 'musical ethics laboratory' are three one-of-a-kind large improvising ensembles: the Splitter Orchester (Berlin), the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (Norway), and the klingt collective (Vienna).

Working creatively and theoretically through the Lab, we aim to develop an innovative, holistic conceptual framework through which to understand the ethical significance of improvisation in social life beyond music and the arts.

Questions? We hope so! Check out the Intro > About section at the new site for more details.

# Events

Each of the seven Lab events will culminate in two public concerts and talks, produced by a number of great venues, festivals, and institutions. The first year features:

* Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Dokkhuset, Trondheim. 24-25 June 2022.
* Splitter Orchester. Akademie der Künste, Berlin. 26-27 August 2022.
* the klingt collective. Wien Modern, Vienna. Late November 2022, dates TBC.

Stay tuned for announcements about next year's three events, which will combine the ensembles in pairs. In 2024, all 40 musicians in the three ensembles will come together for a final Lab encounter, to be followed be an international conference.

# Website and Newsletter

The project website contains information about us and our collaborators, our research, and regularly updated news and events. It is also meant to serve as a hub for our topic more generally; a recommended reading list and links to Friends and related projects are included. In our Writing in Progress section, we invite visitors to comment publicly on our work as it evolves.

An occasional newsletter will keep subscribers informed of all the above every few months. You may sign up at:

With best wishes and looking forward,

Christopher A. Williams, Caroline Gatt, and Joshua Bergamin





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