The ImproTech Series

In 2004 was held at ircam, during the 1st Sound and Music Computing Conference, a workshop on Improvisation and the Computer, that gathered the cream of musicians and researchers operating in the field. The event was a great success and it had a strong impact on the public, the musical scene - and on Ircam as well, by introducing there, for the first time at the highest level, improvisation as a major research topic and a respected field of investigation. Above all, it was a wonderful opportunity to share an exceptional artistic and scientific moment. A trace of this moment is the DVD Contact that captures the performance by David Wessel and Roscoe Mitchell, a founding member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

In 2012, the idea of renewing the experience came up, this time in NYC, where many of the former participants came from, emerged more than once in passionate discussions about the present state of Improvisation involving digital technologies and media. The ImproTech Paris - NYC 2012 workshop was dedicated to the exploration of contemporary bounds between musical improvisation and intelligent digital technologies. Gathering researchers and artists from both research & creation scenes, it favored the idea of using digital intelligence as a source of inspired and sophisticated creation, in a complex, creative interaction of machines with live musicians, as opposed to mere decorative electonic effects. With such venues as NYU, Columbia University and The Roulette concert hall, IK Paris-NY featured improvisation world stars s.a. Geri Allen, Steve Coleman, Roscoe Mitchell, Vijay Iyer or Bernard Lubat.

Five years later it was time to renew with the ImproTech workshop - festival formula, and measure the technological, aesthetical, and sociological evolutions since the last gathering. The meeting place was this time in Philadelphia which seemed a natural destination after NYC, for its unique improvised music scene and history, and its perpetual enchantment with the ever floating figures of e.g. Coltrane, Sun Ra, or McCoy Tyner. ImproTech Paris - Philly took place at the University of Pennsylvania from Dec. 11 to Dec. 13 2017, with concerts at The Rotunda and the Annenberg Center, and musical events at the ICA. Scholars, students, musicians, makers came from many places in europe and the US to talk about their work, demo, teach and perform. IK Paris-Philly flourished on the explosive encounter of prominent research labs and scholars, well established musical figures of Jazz and contemporary music, and the young avant-garde / underground scene of Philadelphia and surroundings.

Improtech 2019 gathers scholars, researchers, musicians, makers, around the idea of musical improvisation in interaction with digital intelligence, taking note of the important development of this new creative field. ikPA'19 creates a link between the european and worlwide research and creation scenes through the symbolic matching of Paris, where the event originated at Ircam, and an other emblematic city. This year Paris will connect with Athens, in a powerful arc between science and the art of improvisation, after the Paris - Philadelphia edition last year, and the Paris - New-york edition a few years ago.

It is thus a unique opportunity for intercultural and interdisciplinary encounters among international research and creation communities.

ImproTech is being held in 2019 with the support of Onassis STEGI and the University of Athens (UOA), in addition to the workshop's founding organisms, to allow the public to observe the aesthetic, technological and sociological developments that have taken place since previous editions. This meeting point in the heart of the Hellenic capital is a stimulating destination because of the city's young and lively improvisation scene, the many men and women who promote research in music science and technology in the Greek universities, and of course the central position of Greek culture in the history of improvised music, from its practice to its theory.

Scholars, students, musicians, will come from many places in world to talk about their work, demo, teach and perform. iikPA'19 will flourish on the explosive encounter of prominent research labs and scholars, well established musical figures of Jazz, contemporary music, traditional music from the mediterranean area, and the avant-garde scene of Greece .

ikPA'19 will combine, around the central theme of improvisation, a great diversity of aesthetic approaches while convening artists and experts covering many knowledge fields, including computer music, artificial intelligence, robotics, musicology / ethno-musicology, philosophy / anthropology, critical studies, acoustics and signal processing.