I am interested in the aesthetics and politics of improvisation broadly, and specifically in the relationship between improvised music and improvised social life. In my work, I argue that tracing improvisation between the musical and the quotidian requires re-evaluating how we understand improvisation in the first place. Using “contingency” as my central theoretical framework, I argue that improvisation is not a creative capacity proper to the acting subject, but is rather coextensive with a contingent encounter between subjects, objects, and multiple environments.
My research currently focuses on three examples of “transatlantic improvised music”: Eric Dolphy, John Cage, and contemporary Norwegian free improvisers, Mr. K.
“Rancière and Improvisation: Reading Contingency in Music and
Politics,” in Rancière and Music, ed. Chris Stover, Patrick Nickleson, João Pedro Cachopo (forthcoming, Edinburgh University Press).
“Epistemology Series–Contingency and Everyday Improvisation“, Sound it Out with Rachel Elliott.