Workshop - Festival : Uzeste, France 11-13 August 2023
Improtech is both a musical festival and an interdisciplinary workshop bringing together actors of research and creation from all over the world fostering musical improvisation in interaction with digital intelligences, in an assumed approach of human-machine co-creativity.
After praised editions in New York, Philadelphia and Athens, Improtech @ Uzeste ! (ikUzeste'23) will be held from August 10 to August 13, 2023 at Uzeste, the beautiful occitan village place of the mythical Hestajada de les arts, the music festival founded by Bernard Lubat. Furthermore, it will be the tenth anniversary of the creation of Improtech, in NYC in 2012 (well anniversary should have been celebrated last year, but was cancelled as the workshop didn't take place this year and was postponed to 2023)
A New alliance
Improtech is dedicated to the explosive alliance between the age-old art of improvisation and the emerging cultures of digital intelligence. It fosters the co-creative dynamics that can exist between humans and machines, and in so doing, creates new meeting grounds between people, artists and audiences of all backgrounds and levels.
Exploring the relationships between music and science, composition and improvisation, writing and performance, music and other performance arts in "cyber-human" settings, Improtech has established itself as one of the major events of contemporary research and creation.
For the first time, Improtech will be held in France : Improtech @ Uzeste!
On the Menu
ikUzeste'23 encompasses conferences, demonstrations, workshops, master classes, musical or multimedia performances / installations, and concerts bringing together some of the world's finest musicians and researchers in beautiful venues.
ikUzeste'23 combines a great diversity of aesthetics, mixing musicians from the international jazz, contemporary, live electronics or traditional scene, and the young avant-garde scene of Uzeste.
ikUzeste'23 brings artists, researchers, engineers, thinkers, students, inventors, DYI enthusiasts covering a broad spectrum of knowledge fields, from computer science to anthropology, from musicology to critical studies, from philosophy to artificial intelligence, from acoustics to mixed realities...
Improtech @ Uzeste ! will focus on education and pedagogy with master classes, workshops, student projects and concerts under the direction of the great invited figures.
This edition of IMPROTECH in Uzeste features three legends of free improvisation, Evan Parker, Joëlle Léandre and Roscoe Mitchell. The former appears in three situations: in a trio with virtuoso American violinist Mari Kimura and percussionist Laurent Mariusse, in a duo with his old companion Jean-Marc-Foussat on synthesizers, and in a double duo inviting, in addition to the latter, Joëlle Léandre and Gérard Assayag operating the Somax2 musical AI software for a machinic co-improvisation in the spirit of IMPROTECH. Joëlle Léandre performs a special Uzeste version of the REACHING OUT show that set the Centre Georges Pompidou alight in June, with IRCAM's "Who/Men" operating Somax2. Finally, Roscoe Mitchell, mythical figure of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, present for the first time in Uzeste, will play a duet with himself...
This edition is also honored by the presence of two master keyboardists Benoît Delbecq and Jozef Dumoulin in their duo "Plug & Play", as well as the immense Malagasy zither virtuoso Justin Vali (who has played with Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush) in the "Collectif Trans(e)-musical" featuring Charles Kely Zana-Rotsy, another Malagasy guitar virtuoso, Lucas Lemoine electronics, Yves Chaudouët and Sabina Covarrubias visual improvisations, and Marc Chemillier at the controls of the Djazz musical AI software in the same spirit of experimentation that marks this festival. IMPROTECH's "American star" is Mari Kimura, a violinist at the cutting edge of the instrument's technical and expressive capacities, and inventor of a unique device for capturing gestures and controlling digital processing. Mari will take part in the "Rencontres du 7ème type" adventure with three familiar figures in acoustic and digital instrument improvisation, Jean-Marc Montera (founder of the Groupe de Recherche et d'Improvisation Musicales de Marseille), Pierre Couprie and György Kurtag Jr.
Jaap Blonk is a world-renowned figure in sound poetry and new vocality, freely exploring the possibilities of electronics and algorithms. With pianist Hervé Sellin, Django d'or, who has played and recorded with Michel Legrand, Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie and Dee Dee Dee Bridgewater, and filmmaker Nurith Aviv, collaborator of Agnes Varda, France's first female cinematographer and a renowned figure of experimental documentary cinema, Jaap diabolically embodies Georges Bloch's open multimedia piece "Paris bout-à-bout en abyme".
The Uzeste fiber is active in IMPROTECH with André Minvielle (in duet with guitarist Camel Zekri, who synthesizes African traditions such as the Diwan of Biskra and free improvisation with technology), the Bernard Lubat quartet, Sylvain Luc, Marc Chemillier and Gérard Assayag in their now classic performance "Lubax Lux", articulating in a frenzied whirlwind instrumental improvisation and machinic (machiavellian?) elaborations.
As always, IMPROTECH welcomes the young scene, with live-coders (Raphaël Forment and Rémi Georges) projecting the code of their constructions in real time, the Italian school of Marco Fiorini (one of the Who/Men), Francesco Diodati and Lorenzo Colombo, young musicians at the frontiers of instrumental and digital intelligence, Rob Frye and Turner Williams, other guests from America exploring new electric lutheries in resonance with the brilliant percussionist Laurent Mariusse already mentioned. Mariusse is no stranger to the repertoire of twentieth-century composers and contemporary music, yet he is also a keen explorer of improvisation and digital interaction.
Specialists in this so-called "savante" music (improvisation is savante in another sense) Benny Sluchin of the Ensemble Intercontemporain founded by Pierre Boulez, Pavlos Antoniadis, virtuoso pianist and researcher at the University of Thessalonica, and Mikhail Malt, one of IRCAM's Who/Men, put improvisation on a new plane by instituting it as a versatile and infinite extension of this repertoire, notably by Xenakis and Cage, but also by Eliane Radigue and Pauline Oliveiros. Saxophonist and composer Maciek Lasserre invites his Wolof pro-verb partner, Senegalese rapper Gaston Bandimic, for a duo combining sampling, contemporary jazz writing and experimental rap. Both are members of MCK Projekt and the avant-rap collective Sélébéyone (led by Steve Lehman, a major musician on the new American jazz scene).
A herald of the young Marseille scene, Cyril Benhamou (flute, keyboards) attempts an impromptu fusion with composer and digital performer Stylianos Dimou, clarinettist Jean-Brice Godet and the inevitable Laurent Mariusse. Shlomo Dubnov, head of a research center at Qualcomm Institute at U.C. San Diego, attempts a fusion of the latest results in generative AI and performance. In addition to the evening concerts, Improtech offers a rich program of keynotes lectures, presentations, workshops, round table discussions and experimental performances during the day.
See the full program there.
IMPROTECH@ Uzeste! is simply dynamite!