Improvising Spaces

Improvising Spaces is a monthly workshop and speaker series that explores the how improvisation can provide us with new ways of thinking and acting. Themes include improvisation in music, dance, literature, performance, research, politics, daily life, and a variety of other areas, and we will seek to create a dialogue that will stimulate thought and collaboration across these areas. All sessions are free and open to everyone and are followed by an open jam session. For more information and a complete list of events, visit Improvising Spaces is curated by IICSI artist-in-residence Chris Tonelli.

Chris Tonelli

Chris Tonelli is a scholar and extreme vocalist, and founder of St. John’s Vocal Exploration Choir. He is currently completing research on histories and social effects of vocal and choral improvisation, with a focus on forms which incorporate extranormal voice techniques. He is interested in the ways audiences often work to police or contain improvisational performances that employ extranormal techniques and, subsequently, in the ways that forms of vocal sound support or disrupt symbolic systems at work in various cultural contexts. In 2013-2014, Chris completed the first year of his research in this area in Guelph, Ontario where he formed and led the Guelph Vocal Exploration Choir, a group open to anyone interested in using their voice and devoted to exploration of both free and structured/conducted vocal and choral improvisation. He continued his research as a postdoctoral fellow at the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation in 2014-15 at Memorial University. Chris is the author of articles in the Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music Studies and the Routledge volume Music in Video Games and his vocal work has appeared recently at Sound Symposium, the Open Ears Festival, and the Audition Records compilation Voix Brutes. Beyond extranormal vocality and improvisation, his research interests include musical mimesis/pastiche, and histories of transnational musical exchange between Japan and the United States.