Holiday reading for jazz researchers

Any Jazz researchers looking to take time out from their practice with a bit of reading over the break might be interested in a new book released by Rob Burke (Monash) and Andrys Onsman (Melbourne). Rob has provided some further information on the book published by Routledge below and information on how to access/ order is available at: https://www.routledge.com/Experimentation-in-Improvised-Jazz-Chasing-Ideas/Onsman-Burke/p/book/9781138316676

Experimentation in Improvised Jazz: Chasing Ideas challenges the notion that in the twenty-first century, jazz can be restrained by a singular, static definition. The worldwide trend for jazz to be marginalised by the mainstream music industry, as well as conservatoriums and schools of music, runs the risk of stifling the innovative and challenging aspects of its creativity. The authors argue that to remain relevant, jazz needs to be dynamic, proactively experimental, and consciously facilitate new ideas to be made accessible to an audience broader than the innovators themselves. Experimentation in Improvised Jazz explores key elements of experimental jazz music in order to discern ways in which the genre is developing. 

The book begins with an overview of where, when and how new ideas in free and improvised jazz have been created and added to the canon, developing the genre beyond its initial roots. It moves on to consider how and why musicians create free and improvised jazz; the decisions they make while playing. What are they responding to? What are they depending on? What are they thinking? The authors analyse and synthesise the creation of free jazz by correlating the latest research to the reflections provided by some of the world’s greatest jazz innovators for this project. Finally, the book examines how we respond to free and improvised jazz: artistically, critically and personally. Free jazz is, the book argues, an environment that develops through experimentation with new ideas.

Advice for prospective arts students

ArtsHub has produced a useful guide to prospective students in the process of selecting their tertiary study program and institution. Based on responses from educators and industry professionals to the question: “What is the one key piece of advice you would offer secondary school students to help them in making the best decision for their tertiary study options?”, key pieces of advice stress the need to be informed, passionate, determined and authentic and keep an eye on industry and post study options. The full article can be accessed via ArtsHub at: https://www.artshub.com.au/education/news-article/sponsored-content/arts-education/richard-watts/why-choosing-a-tertiary-course-is-like-homework-for-your-future-256877

DASSH reinforces the value of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences to the workforce of the future

A new report by the Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (DASSH) takes on the difficult task of articulating the value of the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) disciplines to Australia’s future. The report, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) Degrees: Powering Workforce Transformation Through Creativity, Critical Thinking and Human Interaction, reviews recent literature and analysis to present the case for a greater understanding of how HASS skills are becoming increasingly relevant to our future workforce.

The report is available at: http://dassh.edu.au/resources/uploads/publications/project_reports/DASSH_HASS_and_Future_Workforce_FINAL_Report_2018.11_.21_.pdf

International Arts Tourism Report released

The Australia Council has been busy with its end of year reports. In addition to its annual report, Why Arts Matter, it has released a report on the role that art plays in international tourism for Australia. The report: International Arts Tourism - Connecting Cultures, uses data from Tourism Research Australia to highlight international visitor engagement with arts experiences, cultural institutions, first nations arts and culture and engagement with arts in regional Australia. The report is available at: http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/workspace/uploads/files/arts-and-tourism-report-pdf-5bf1f3c5079ac.pdf

Live-to-digital not attracting anticipated new audiences

Two new research reports out of the UK indicate that the digital capture and screening of live performances is failing to attract the wider and more diverse audiences anticipated. It had originally been hoped that digitally capturing live arts performances and screening them online or in cinemas/community locations would increase audience attendance by those who would not typically attend similar live performances in person. However two distinct reports, one conducted for the Arts Council England (ACE) and the other by digital distribution service Cinegi, show that “screened versions of live performances are … consumed by those that would attend the arts anyway.” The reports note that screening audiences were significantly lower than expected while technical factors inhibited online viewing numbers. Both reports are available online:

Live-to-Digital in the Arts: https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/news/live-digital-screenings-arent-diversifying-audiences-research-finds

Cinegi Arts & Film Action Research Report: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/download-file/cinegi_NestaAA_report%20FINAL.pdf

University of Melbourne VP (Engagement) appointed as Australia Council CEO

University of Melbourne Vice President (Engagement) Adrian Collette AM has been announced as the incoming CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts. Adrian has extensive arts leadership experience including 16 years as CEO of Opera Australia and as Managing Director of Reed Books, Elsevier. He has been a member of the Australia Council Board since 2013. He will take up the CEO position in January 2019.

2019-20 Indigenous Languages and Arts grants program opens

The Australian Government has invited applications for the next round of the Indigenous Languages and Arts Program that supports projects that preserve, promote and celebrate cultural expression through Australian Indigenous languages and arts. Applications close on 11 February 2019 and the guidelines and application form is available on the GrantConnect website at: https://www.grants.gov.au/?event=public.GO.show&GOUUID=041F07E8-C68E-A9C4-66147CFA9F844449

New journal on Australian Multilingual Writing

The Australian Multilingual Writing Project is a new free online journal that showcases multilingual creative writing. The first issue features poetry by 13 different poets in 14 different languages, all of which capture the journal’s objective to share the way that multilingual poets think and speak.  The introduction to this issue explains that while English-speaking poets may use one or two words from another language, poets who are multilingual “have access to multiple musics, multiple vocabularies, multiple idioms and … combine them in ways that create whole new musics, syntaxes, and idioms.”

The journal’s creator and editor, Nadia Niaz explains: “Each poem is accompanied by an audio file to add back in the dimension that the unfamiliarity of some of the languages may take away. Translations, transliterations, and glosses are provided at the poets' discretion. Some poems invite you in for a cuppa and a chat, while others skulk by the door ready to bolt, but all provide glimpses into the lives and experiences of people who move between languages daily.”

The first issue is available at: https://australianmultilingualwriting.org/issue-1/amwp-issue-1/.

 

Why Arts Matter: Australia Council 2018 report released

The Australia Council has released its annual report which this year includes case studies to demonstrate the impact of the Council’s work in wellbeing, social cohesion, Australia’s international reputation, and the future of work. Key statistics that the Council uses to report its progress for 2017-18 include:

  • Support for the creation of over 10,000 new artworks with an audience reach of nearly 23 million

  • Direct support for 762 individual artists and 609 organisations 

  • More than 46,000 arts activities created by, with or for children and young people

  • Support for 600+ arts leaders through the Australia Council’s capacity building programs

  • 63% of grants awarded to female artists.

The full report is available at: http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/workspace/uploads/files/australia-council-annual-repor-5bd8e5e63c2c6.pdf

Urgent call for change in UK school arts education

A recent research report, Time to Listen, commissioned by Arts Council England and produced by the University of Nottingham, has revealed the need for urgent changes in arts and culture provision in schools. The three-year study Tracking Arts Learning and Engagement, gathered data from over 6000 11-18 year olds and their teachers, and reinforces the positive impact that arts and cultural learning has on student confidence, creativity, wellbeing, empathy and independent thinking, yet it reveals that school is the only avenue for arts engagement for over one third of students.

Responding to the study, Buckingham University Vice Chancellor Anthony Seldon said:

"We all have a role to play in securing high quality access to the arts and culture for young people. This research tells us how valuable arts subjects and experiences are for students in schools - but it also tells us they are under significant threat. I call on Vice Chancellors across the country to play our part in securing the future of arts subjects in schools and universities by ensuring they are appropriately valued in our institutions. I ask Russell Group universities to review their approach to facilitating subjects and ensure we aren't inadvertently telling young people that choosing arts subjects at A Level will close down their options."

Further details on the research is available at https://researchtale.net

The research was conducted in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Tate Gallery who have released a film entitled Why Study Art? to coincide with the release of the report. This is available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/videos/tateshots/why-study-art