Listening and Improvisation : Caroline Kraabel [Upcoming]

Lecture :

16 December Friday 6:30-8pm [UPDATED from 9 December]

£5 | 12 places only | Please email divfuse@gmail.com for tickets

Workshops :

10 December Saturday 2-4pm PART ONE

17 December Saturday 2-4pm PART TWO

£12 each part or £20 for attending both parts | 6 places only | Please email divfuse@gmail.com for ticketing information

Note : Participants are recommended to attend both parts as PART TWO will be building on the materials delivered in PART ONE. BYO instruments.


Two workshops and a lecture by Caroline Kraabel

Exploring her own practice, along with a wider view of improvisation and identity: even the world of freely improvised music can be experienced as an enclave that excludes, despite the perceived association of improvisation with limitlessness and freedom.

How do people who improvise feel and think DIFFERENTLY from each other on the subject? How do we avoid or alter any dominance of particular groups over the theory or practice of improvisation? Does the experimental nature of improvisation make it easier for members of élites to shine in the field, because they have more pre-existing socio-cultural capital? Or, does improvisation come more easily for outsiders who are already primed to find alternative paths? How are improvisers affected by their musical and cultural histories? How does a group, maybe a large group, of improvisers negotiate space and time, noise and silence in a musical and just way?

For improvisers who have experienced forms of oppression in music making and/or life, is the aim when making music merely to recapitulate existing power structures, but try to place themselves at the top? Or to create new and fairer structures?

References: Gittin’ To Know Y’all: Improvised Music, Interculturalism, and the Racial Imagination, by George E. Lewis, Columbia University

https://www.criticalimprov.com/index.php/csieci/article/view/845/1396

Naked Intimacy: Eroticism, Improvisation, and Gender, by Ellen Waterman, University of Guelph

https://www.criticalimprov.com/index.php/csieci/article/view/845/1396


Caroline Kraabel is a London-based improviser, saxophonist, artist and composer.

In 2022 Kraabel brought together a large group made up of all sorts of women, non-binary, and transgender improvisers: ONe_Orchestra New.

Other active groups include a duo with cellist Khabat Abas; the Transitions Trio (with Charlotte Hug and Maggie Nicols); Fit To Burst, a song-based trio with Sarah Washington and John Edwards (https://carolinekraabel.bandcamp.com/album/fit-to-burst); and the Poetry Quartet with Rowland Sutherland, John Edwards and Sofia Vaisman-Maturana, which incorporates live poetry from guest poets, including Moor Mother.

Kraabel has performed and recorded with many other excellent improvisers, including Robert Wyatt, Louis Moholo, Cleveland Watkiss, Hyelim Kim, Pat Thomas, Susan Alcorn, Veryan Weston, Mariá Portugal, Neil Metcalfe, Mark Sanders, and Chris Corsano.

Kraabel’s solo saxophone improvisations while walking in London and elsewhere with her infant child/ren in their pushcair were broadcast weekly 2002-2006 on Resonance 104.4 FM as Taking a Life for a Walk and more recently (without children) as Going Outside. Other radio work includes a series of interviews with improvisers in many media (music, dance, visual art, politics, activism), Why is Improvising Important; Improvisers and Improvisation, with John Edwards: a 22-hour piece including music, noise, electronics, live performance and new interviews with improvisers; part of 2022’s Radio Art Zone: https://radioart.zone/saturday-10-september