2019 (AJIRN) Australasian Jazz and Improvisation Research Network Conference

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Event Details

1 June 2019 at 9:30 am – 3 June 2019 at 5:00 pm


Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music

Conferences & Symposium

Embodying Jazz and Improvisation: Playing with Ideas and Keeping it Real.


  • Improvised lives

Improvisation exceeds any knowledge domain constraint. However, it is also contextual. But mostly it is about people who have something to say musically and are not afraid to change what they are saying as they hear themselves saying it.

  • Playing with uncertainty

At the start of their careers, many improvising musicians play tentatively and safely. At the peak of their careers, many embrace and deliberately seek uncertainty to force them to invent and resolve. Audiences too can approach improvised music with uncertainty, but as elements are recognised and anticipated, may also enjoy its uncertainty.

  • Theorising improvisation

An interesting strand of research is emerging that considers how Improvisation builds a complex, at times volatile, entity out of the elements that the players bring to it. Are there discernible rules to improvisation, along the lines of the characteristics of chaos theory?

  • Crossing boundaries

How has Jazz and Improvisation crossed boundaries? Perhaps a more pertinent question to be asked is whether boundaries in music are still relevant beyond simple appellation.


Papers and proposal for presentations that could include live performances are welcome from researchers.

There will be two formats offered:

  1. Presentations/papers of 20 minute followed by 10mins discussion.
  2. Post Graduate presentations/papers of 10 minutes followed by 10 minutes of panel discussion. These papers can be on the topic specific to their research with expert feedback by a panel.

300 word abstracts/proposals and 150 word bios

Note: Abstracts and bios should be submitted as Word .doc or .docx files.

Current enrolled Post Graduate students are asked to note their degree type and the stage of their research at the time of their submission.

PROPOSALS ARE DUE ON March 9 11:59pm 2019

Applicants will be informed of their acceptance by 22nd March 2019.

Conference dinner: 01 June 2019

​Send proposals to: andrys.onsman@monash.edu

More details on Conference Website: www.ajirn.com


Keynote Speaker:  Professor Raymond MacDonald

Special Guests TBA


Saturday 01 June – Monday 03 June


09:30am – 05:00pm



For further information, please contact Rob Burke on robert.burke@monash.edu or fiona@ajirn.comQuestions on theme please email: andrys.onsman@monash.edu