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ONLINE: Big Ideas in Improvisation – Fred Moten and Vijay Iyer in Conversation

ONLINE: Big Ideas in Improvisation – Fred Moten and Vijay Iyer in Conversation

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Friday, May 28, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) and Musagetes are pleased to present the inaugural lecture of the Big Ideas in Improvisation series: an annual series showcasing provocative thinkers and creative practitioners.

This free, online event—co-presented by the ArtsEverywhere Festival—will feature poet, critic and theorist Fred Moten in conversation with composer, pianist and scholar Vijay Iyer, bringing these two artistic visionaries, social activists and MacArthur “Genius” award winners together for an evening of provocative and inspiring dialogue.
The event will take place Friday, May 28 at 7 p.m. (ET) via Zoom, and is free and open to all.

If you are interested in attending the event please register online at:
A Zoom link will be sent out the day before the event.

This is the first event for Big Ideas in Improvisation, an annual series that will showcase provocative thinkers and creative practitioners in a public forum as they share ideas and insights about the power, expansive force and urgency of improvisation. These public lectures, aimed at a general audience, will encourage us to consider how the artistic practices of improvisation developed by creative practitioners can translate into broader spheres of influence and action. Improvisational practices can put pressure on unquestioned assumptions, help us discover new ways of being, and put into action potential solutions to some of our most pressing contemporary global challenges.

Described by The New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway,” Vijay Iyer has carved out a unique path as a shape-shifting presence in 21st century music. His musical language is grounded in the rhythmic traditions of South Asia and West Africa, the African American creative music movement of the 60s and 70s, and the lineage of composer-pianists from Duke Ellington to Alice Coltrane. He has received a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a United States Artist Fellowship and a Grammy nomination; released twenty-four albums, most recently Uneasy (ECM Records, 2021); received commissions from Brentano Quartet, Imani Winds, Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, and the LA Philharmonic; and has recently served as composer-in-residence at London’s Wigmore Hall and artist-in-residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University.

Fred Moten is a cultural theorist and poet creating new conceptual spaces that accommodate emergent forms of Black cultural production, aesthetics and social life. A professor at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, he has spent the last thirty years crafting illuminating work focusing on social movement, aesthetic experiment and the poetics of Black study. He has expressed these ideas through Moved by the Motion, the Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy, and the Exodus Reading Group; via collaborations with Arika, Renee Gladman, Zun Lee, Jennie C. Jones, Renée Green, and George Lewis, among many others; and in a number of books, the latest of which, written with Stefano Harney, is All Incomplete (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, 2021).


Friday, May 28, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Categories:


Ontario Canada

Additional Info

Event is open to
U of G students, U of G faculty and staff, The public