The first episode of Four33 introduces our playful approach to critical discourse about improvisation and focuses on connecting broad themes to everyday experiences. Through conversations with unsuspecting strangers, our hosts, Stephen Donnelly and Carey West reflect on the tensions and dynamics of defining the elusive nature of Improvisation.
Image: detail from untitled motion study by Steph Yates
Carey West is a vocalist and educator whose professional experience motivates her research. She is interested in questions surrounding voice, agency and improvisation. Her MA thesis focused on best practices and liberatory experiences during extended vocal techniques and sound singing workshops. Her Ph.D. research continues this inquiry with an eye on using vocal improvisational pedagogy as a musical model to inform legal processes where testimony is required. She is also interested in the work of teachers as influential cultural agents and the work of musicians as public pedagogues. Carey has enjoyed several high profile performances including a live broadcast from Roy Thompson Hall on CBC RadioOne, and a performance at Young and Dundas Square. Her recording projects have enjoyed support from the Ontario Arts Council and Factor and she has held residencies at the Rex Hotel and the Cameron House in Toronto. She continues to perform and record and her latest album Made of Clay was released in the fall of 2017.
Stephen Donnelly is a live artist from Wales. His work explores and combines his interests in improvised play, performance studies, contemporary and historical uses of social space, popular culture, belief, and the commons.
Through playful research, interactive performance, place-making, and protest, Steve has collaborated with diverse audiences, communities and creative partners throughout the UK. Originally training as a devising performer, Steve’s work has grown to incorporate divergent approaches to exploring public space and the commons, including; devising, producing, and performing live art; touring site-responsive theatre and pervasive games; and organising grass-root campaigns and award-winning community spaces.
Steve is currently pursuing an MA in Critical Studies in Improvisation at the University of Guelph. His research interests include; Infinite Play as Improvisation; critical walking, psychogeography, and vernacular speculative practices; and the use of humour in art.
You can connect with Steve via donnells[@]uoguelph.ca
Instagram @biod.en, or Twitter @StDonnelly