Dean of the School of Music, Ethnomusicology and Music History
M.A. U.C. San Diego
Ph.D. U.C. San Diego
Phone: (709) 864-7486
Ellen Waterman is both a music scholar and a flutist specializing in creative improvisation and contemporary music. She has held posts in Music (U. Guelph) and Cultural Studies (Trent U.), and in 2009/10 she was Visiting Scholar at the McGill Institute for Studies in Gender, Sexuality and Feminism. She was the 2009 recipient of the University of Guelph, College of Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. Waterman is currently Dean of the School of Music at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Her research interests range across contemporary performance, gender, technology, acoustic ecology, radio, and improvisation. Sounds Provocative: Experimental Music Performance in Canada, funded by the SSHRC, is a cross-Canada comparative study of experimental music festivals and is documented at www.experimentalperformance.ca and in several publications. Waterman’s work on gender, sound, and technology includes a special issue of the journal Intersections: Journal of Canadian Music 26.2 (2006), co-edited with Andra McCartney. She is editor of Sonic Geography Imagined and Remembered (2002), a cultural critique of acoustic ecology, and she has published extensively on the environmental music theatre of R. Murray Schafer, with whom she worked for ten years.
Waterman is active as a core member of Improvisation, Community and Social Practice (ICASP) a seven-year international and highly interdisciplinary research project, funded by a prestigious SSHRC-MCRI award, which examines the social implications of improvisational music. Her research areas in the ICASP project include gender and the body, and pedagogy. She developed the Improvisation Tool Kit at www.improvcommunity.ca, drawing together information from several community-engaged projects to create a free resource for teaching improvisation. With Gillian Siddall, she is co-editing an anthology Sounding the Body: Improvisation, Representation, and Subjectivity under contract with Wesleyan University Press for 2012. She is founding co-editor of the online, peer reviewed journal Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisation www.criticalimprov.com. Waterman is most passionate about a collaborative project led by visionary musician and humanitarian Pauline Oliveros and involving ICASP team members, the Deep Listening Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to develop, document, and study the AUMI – an adaptive use musical instrument for people with disabilities, http://www.deeplistening.org/site/adaptiveuse.
As a flutist, Waterman studied with Jan Kocman, Douglas Stewart, and John Fonville. She has been privileged to work with an array of great improvisers including George Lewis, Pauline Oliveros, Nicole Mitchell, Miya Masaoka, Malcolm Goldstein, Susie Ibarra, Joëlle Leandre, Jean Derome, Joane Hétu, Lori Freedman, Jesse Stewart, William Parker, David Boyko, Michael Zerang, and Anne Bourne. Waterman has performed at the Guelph Jazz Festival, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival (with VCMI), and Montreal’s The Upgrade!. She has also been artist-in-residence for several festivals, including The Art of Immersive Soundscapes (U. Regina), Sound Travels Festival (Toronto), and the Chicago Creative Music Workshop (Chicago Jazz Festival).
Waterman is represented on premiere recordings of works by Brian Ferneyhough (CRICD 652) and R. Murray Schafer (CMCCD 8902, MW72). Her own compositions and improvisational work have been released on Radiant Dissonance Volume Two, a set of ten radio programs produced by the Canadian Society for Independent Radio Production, on her documentary CD Sound Crossings, and with the book Radio Territories. Her current project is ~spin~, a duo with composer James Harley, exploring the intersections between acoustic/electro-acoustic performance and real time multi-channel sound diffusion.