Final Report

 

  1. Zusammenfassung für die Öffentlichkeit

Das künstlerische Forschungsprojekt Jazz & the City: Identität einer Jazz(haupt)stadt beschäftigte sich damit, die aktuelle Identität der Jazzstadt Graz mittlels künstlerisch-wissenschaftlicher Methoden zu untersuchen und darzustellen. Die Verschränkung von künstlerischer Expertise am Institut für Jazz und wissenschafltichen Kompetenzen am Institut für Jazzforschung an der Kunstuniversität Graz (KUG) bildeten dabei das tragende methodische Gerüst. In der Zusammenarbeit dieser beiden Institute verstärkt sich die Bedeutung des Jazz für das Kulturleben der Stadt Graz auf lokaler Ebende gleichermassen wie die Signalwirkung des Grazer akademischen Jazzschwerpunktes in der internationalen Gemeinschaft von Musikforschern und Künstlern. In 20 künstlerischen Workshops, und 288 zumeist in Graz aber auch auf internationaler Ebene abgehaltenen Konzerten, wurden – zum Teil unter der Mitwirkung von internationalen Gastmusikern als Artists in Residence – die verschiedenen Traditionen im Jazz mit den unterschiedlich geprägten künstlerischen Identitäten von Teilnehmern der Grazer Jazzszene in Verbindung gesetzt und in einer Vielzahl an neuen Kompositionen und Improvisationskonzepten aufgearbeitet. Ausgewählte Fallstudien und die theoretische Betrachtung der dabei entwickelten künstlerischen Methoden sind in Fachjournalen der wissenschaftlichen Bereiche Jazzforschung und künstlerische Forschung veröffentlicht oder zur baldigen Veröffentlichung geplant. Eine umfangreiche Monographie zur Jazzgeschichte in Graz von 1965 (dem Jahr der akademischen Implementierung des Jazz in Graz) bis heute dient der Abbildung des historischen und sozio-kulturellen Hintergrundes für die Jazzaktivitäten in dieser Stadt und wird 2015 in der renommierten Reihe Beiträge zur Jazzforschung / Studies in Jazz Research veröffentlicht. Weitere Forschungsergebnisse wurden als CD Produktionen und auf nationalen und internationalen Fachkongressen publiziert. Ein breiteres, nicht fachspezifisches Publikum wurde durch die vom österreichischen Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung unterstützten Events zur Wissenschaftskommunikation wie ‚Lange Nacht der Forschung‘ und ‚Science Talk‘, sowie im Österreichischen Rundfunk (Ö1) und dem Lokalmagazin Grazetta angesprochen.

Das Projekt wurde als lokale Fallstudie in Ergänzung zu dem auf internationale Vergleiche abzielenden HERA-Projekt Rhythm Changes konzipiert, was durch die thematische Ausrichtung hinischtlich der Erforschung von Identität und Tradition als auch durch den Austausch von methodischen Konzepten und Forschungsresultaten im Rahmen von internationalen Konferenzen und gemeinsamen Publikationen gewährleistet werden konnte.

 

  1. Summary for public relations work

The arts-based research project Jazz & the City: Identity of a Capital of Jazz focussed on the investigation of the current identity of Graz as a city of jazz by means of a mix of artistic and scientific research methods. The methodic framework was formed through the combination of the artistic expertise at the Institute for Jazz and the scientific competences at the Institute for Jazz Research at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz (KUG). This collaboration has enhanced the significance of jazz for the local cultural life and signifies the academic focus on jazz in the city of Graz to an international community of music researchers and artists. In the course of 20 workshops and 288 local as well as international concert performances – partly in collaboration with international visiting artists in residence – various traditions in jazz were connected to the individual artistic identities of members of the Graz jazz scene and artistically developed in a large number of new compositions and improvisational concepts. Selected case studies and the theorization of the newly developed artistic methods regarding the expression of identity are published (or currently in preparation for publication) in various journals in the field of jazz studies and artistic research. A large monograph on the history of jazz in Graz from 1965 (the year of the academic implementation of jazz in Graz) up to the current date depicts the historical and socio-cultural background of most jazz activities in Graz. This book will be published in 2015 in the well-known series Beiträge zur Jazzforschung / Studies in Jazz Research. Further research results were disseminated on CD recordings and national and international conferences. Moreover, the wider, non-specialist public was addressed through presentations at events supported by the Austrian Ministery for Science and Research such as ‚Lange Nacht der Forschung‘ and ‚Science Talk‘, and in public media outlets such as Austria’s national radio Ö1 and the magazine Grazetta.

 

The project was designed as a case study with a focus on local developments in order to complement the large HERA-funded initiative Rhythm Changes, which compared various international jazz scenes. The exchange of methodical concepts and research results between these two projects was facilitated in international conferences and joint publications.

 

  1. Report on Research

 

1.1 Information on the development of the research project

The project was designed as a complementary initiative to the comparative, international accounts of the large HERA-funded research project Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities. The Institute for Jazz Research at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz (KUG) was involved as a principal investigator in both projects. Within the context of Rhythm Changes the FWF-project Jazz & the City aimed to provide a case study regarding the role of jazz in the formation of identity within the society of Graz. Furthermore, it aimed to combine the high expertise of both institutes of the jazz cluster (jazz and jazz research) in Graz within a single, collaborative project. Overall the project comprised the following five primary goals: (1) historical investigation and documentation of jazz in Graz since 1965, (2) examination of several case studies regarding contemporary forms of expressions of identity in the music of jazz artists currently based in Graz, (3) establishment of several arts-based workshops and aesthetic ‘playgrounds’ regarding the expression of inheritance and identity in new works of jazz to be created in Graz, (4) establishment of a speculative jazz theory regarding the expression of inheritance and identity in contemporary jazz in general and of Graz in particular and (5) international visibility through the dissemination of results through various publications. Overall, the project was carried out according to the direction set out in the project proposal, with some changes in the work plan: more time for the historical research was necessary to accommodate the detailed study of all located historical sources, whose extent exceeded the expectations significantly; the time plan had to be extended for eight months, which had no effect on the budget.

 

1.2 Most important results

1.2.1. Achieving of goals

All five primary goals were achieved throughout the project duration according to the proposed methodology: (1) Detailed historical studies were completed and have revealed the position of jazz in the development of the cultural identity of the city since 1965. Particularly noteworthy are: the pioneering efforts regarding the academic development of jazz in Graz, which have played a particular role in the establishment of the international reputation of Graz as a city of jazz and as a role model for the initiation of similar institutions; the interrelations of the academic jazz centre in Graz with most individual artistic projects by Graz-based jazz musicians and cultural efforts of local concert promoters and policy makers. The comprehensive historical studies of the project (published as Jazz & the City: Jazz in Graz von 1965 bis 2015, Leykam 2016) document the development of the jazz scene in Graz in a detailed manner. (2) Identity and inheritance in the music of over selected Graz-based jazz artists of various nationalities and age groups were studied in detail. These case studies have shown the participating musicians‘ personal relations to the jazz activities in the city of Graz and the impact of the local jazz scene on their own career, musical developments and creative conceptions. Analyses and reflective discussions of selected musical works formed a crucial basis in the course of these investigations. A representative case study has evolved into a substantial article, published in Journal of Artistic Research 3. The results of all other investigations in this field have fed into a section of the monograph and into the development of a speculative theory, discussed below. (3) 20 arts-based workshops, conducted as part of the ‚Artist in Residence‘ program at the Institute for Jazz under project collaborator and head of institute Ed Partyka have contributed to the creation of a large body of new compositions for small and large jazz ensembles and countless meaningful improvisations and improvisatory concepts, based on discussions of identity and inheritance from both, the cultural perspective of the various nationalities of students and invited guest artists, as well as from the rich traditions involved with the history of the academic jazz institution and the local jazz scene in Graz. These workshops have confirmed the hypothesis of Graz as a cultural ‚hot spot‘ for the artistic development of music. Results were presented and developed in 288 performances. (4) The results and knowledge gained from historical investigations, case studies and workshops fed into the work on a so-called ’speculative jazz theory‘, which, according to its definition in the literature, aims for the purport of creative strategies beyond the rudiments of the basic pedagogical jazz theory.[1] The project has contributed towards the clarification of the concept of a speculative jazz theory and its potential for the expression of creative strategies in jazz. Rather than developing a single speculative theory of jazz in Graz as a set of rules, the project has developed a method for the mediation of creative processes inherited throughout the history of jazz in Graz, through the design and conduction of a specific compositional arts-based research process. Two articles and one conference paper as well as a section in the monograph represent the results of this research strand.[2] (5) International and national visibility was achieved through the presentations of research papers drawn from the project at 15 international conferences in Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, China and Austria; presentations at the national radio Ö1; performances in Graz, at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Washington D.C., at the JZ Jazz Clubs in Shanghai and Hangzhou and various concert venues across Austria; the publication in the international scientific journals as well as local magazines and newspapers. The monograph is very likely to receive international attention in 2015, the 50th anniversary of the Institute for Jazz in Graz. Detailed information on the project is hosted on the website www.jazzandthecity.org. Further presentations are planned (i.e. conference in Luzern in 2014) and new collaborations were initiated through the invitation of postdoc Kahr to participate in a workshop on the analysis software Melospy, developed at the Musikhochschule Weimar in a DFG-project led by Prof. Martin Pfleiderer.

1.2.2 Contribution to the development of the field

Despite earlier singular projects in the field of basic arts-based research at the institutes for jazz and jazz research at the KUG, the project has constituted the first large cooperation, which represents an important contribution to the development of jazz research and practice in Graz. The project has produced arts-based knowledge for an increased understanding of identity and inheritance in the small and yet internationally well-connected cultural city of Graz. As exemplified in an article published in Journal for Artistic Research 3, the project has shown how the organization of jazz practice through composition and arrangement may lead to the meaningful engagement of a local community with their own identity and authenticity. In general, the project has resulted in an increase of artistic awareness towards aspects of identity and inheritance in jazz, which will potentially unfold on an international level, according to the future activities of participating musicians and researcher, many of whom are already interacting within an international network in their field. This will certainly increase the international competitiveness of the academic jazz education / jazz research cluster in Graz. Moreover, the historical research branch of this project has increased the awareness of the history of jazz in Graz among local participating artists, concert promoters and policy makers. Extensive interview sessions have increased the self consciousness among important contributors of historical musical developments and the monograph on the history of jazz in Graz will most likely increase the awareness of a wider public regarding jazz as a vital factor in the current and future identity of this city.

1.2.3 Results in terms of artistic innovation

The arts-based research processes on identity and inheritance applied in this project have contributed to the creation of a large body of new compositions and improvisational concepts based on innovative methods derived from the reflection of identity and inheritance of the Graz jazz scene. The insight gained from reflections of the creative processes embodied in these new works fed into the development of the concept of a so-called ’speculative‘ jazz theory of identity and inheritance in the Graz jazz scene. As opposed to conventional musical theory, which derives from a detached observer’s point of view, speculative theories in jazz appear musician-based with the aim to communicate creative strategies of a single artist, a group or school of thought to other jazz practitioners for the application in new works of art. The theorization process as such, as well as analyses of selected new works created according to this theory appear in journal articles and in a  section of the monograph.

1.2.4 Most important research questions / hypotheses developed

The creation of a substantial number of new works of art represent the most significant development in line with the project’s main research question regarding identity and inheritance. The immanent use of culturally and stylistically diverse musical sources in these works reflects the intercultural, transnational, plural and dynamic nature of the current local jazz scene and the population of Graz in general. As such, these artistic works resemble recent observations regarding the socio-cultural environment in Graz, presented as part of an official evaluation report of arts funding in Graz in 2011, conducted by music sociologist Tasos Zembylas (Univ. of Music in Vienna). The project’s comprehensive historical study, arts-based workshops and the analyses of case studies of local jazz artists have provided the necessary knowledge base for the project’s artistic endeavour. A sociological study of the current jazz audience in Graz, presented in a Masters thesis (supervised by Werner Jauk at the Karl-Franzens University in Graz), has provided additional knowledge. In line with the development of research questions in the large, transnational HERA-project Rhythm Changes the project has revealed significant findings regarding the particular jazz identity in the city of Graz and its correlations to the global scope of jazz.

1.2.5 Development of new methods

The project provided the framework for the development of new methods in the artistic practice in jazz based on the inquiry of individual and shared traditions and tested in the creation of new compositions and concepts for improvisations. The new knowledge embodied in these methods is carried forward by the group of participants in the workshops and concerts organized by the project team. Reports of selected case studies are published or planned for publication in journal articles, as musical compositions and CD-productions, as part of a monograph on jazz in Graz and one exposition in the Journal for Artistic Research. The theorization of the creative strategies in the Graz jazz scene is addressed in the monograph as well as in two journal articles (Folkwang Studien and a planned publication in the Dutch Journal of Music Theory).

1.2.6 Development of international standing as a result of the outcomes of the project

A highly visible international standing has been provided by to the close interaction with the HERA-project Rhythm Changes. Presentations of results at both large Rhythm Changes conferences in Amsterdam and Manchester, as well as two publications in collaboration with a researcher of the Rhythm Changes team have increased the international visibility of the project and the international standing of its collaborators. Additional conference presentations and performances in various countries have contributed in this regard. Participating students have developed their international standing through collaborative workshops, performances and compositions with international artists in residence.

1.2.7 Relevance for other (related) areas of science (transdisciplinary issues and methods)

The project’s relevance unfolds in musicology, music theory, performance and composition, but may project into areas of science which focus on identity and inheritance in cities such as social science, anthropology, urban studies, identity studies and so forth.

 

1.3. Information on the execution of the project, use of available funds

The project was conducted from May 2011 until December 2013. Besides the postdoc Michael Kahr, two postgraduate students received funding. A laptop computer and a portable digital video camera were purchased at the beginning of the project. Most artistic event were organized as part of the concert program of the institute for jazz. Some performances took place outside of Graz in collaboration with the Austrian Ministry for Science and Research, the Austrian Cultural Forum in Washington D.C., in various local and international jazz clubs and concert halls and in several churches in the district of Carinthia. No funding was necessary to cover costs in relation with performances.

 

  1. Personnel development Importance of the project for the research careers of those involved (including the project leader) and other important aspects

For PI Kerschbaumer, the project represents a contribution towards his legacy as he will retire in 2015. Postdoc Kahr could gain important experience in the conduction of large research projects and was able to lay the groundwork for a habilitation in jazz research and the conduction of research projects as a PI. Project collaborator Partyka could raise the international profile of the institute for jazz as a centre for arts development. International collaborations were intensified and established through conference contributions, performances, cooperations with international artists in residence and cooperations with institutional networks such as the International Association of Schools of Jazz IASJ, the ‚Science Goes Public‘ initiative of the Austrian Ministery for Science and Research, the association of music educators in the district of Styria and the ‚Lange Nacht der Forschung‘, an Austrian multi-disciplinary public science event. The development of working conditions was not on the agenda of this project.

 

  1. Effects of the project beyond the scientific field

Postdoc Kahr has engaged with a scientist working in molecular biology and created an improvised performance based on sound samples from the biology laboratory. This performance was presented as part of the ‚Science goes Public‘ events (Austrian Ministery for Science and Research). A research presentation at the multi-disciplinary Science Saloon in Vienna provided the opportunity to discuss arts-based research in jazz with a community of scientists from various fields. A presentation at Austria’s national radio Ö1 and a regular column in the popular journal Grazetta added to the PR work beyond the field of jazz research. With the publication of project collaborator Kahr’s book Jazz in Graz von 1965 bis 2015 a new series of PR work is planned which includes the conduction of a small symposium with key personalities who contributed to the jazz identity of Graz throughout the past decades. The work will also be made available to cultural policy makers in Graz and may have an effect on the local funding policies. Alongside the book, a CD with a new composition based on the knowledge gained from this project will be presented to a larger audience outside the arts-based research community.

 

III. Attachements

  1. Publications

Monograph

Kahr, M., Jazz & the City: Jazz in Graz von 1965 bis 2015. Graz: Leykam (2016).

Journal articles and book chapters

Kahr, M., „The Development of the Jazz Institute in Graz as a Pioneer of Academic Jazz in Europe“, in: European Journal of Musicology (2017 in Print), http://www.european-musicology.eu.

Kahr, M., „Artistic Research in Jazz: A Case Study and Potential Developments“, in: Music and Sonic Arts: Theories and Practice. Cambridge Scholars Press, ed. Mine Dogantan-Dack (2017 in Print).

Kahr, M. „50 Years of Academic Jazz in Central Europe: Musicological and Artistic Research Perspectives in a Case Study of Local Jazz History in Graz“, in: Continental Drift. 50 Years of Jazz from Europe, Haftor Medbøe, Zack Moir and Chris Atton. (Edinburgh Napier University 2017), 57–65.

Kahr, M., „Künstlerische Forschung im Bereich Jazz und Popularmusik an der Kunstuniversität Graz“, in: Zeitschrift für Hochschulentwicklung ZfHE 10 / 1 (2015), 39–51, zfhe.at.

Kahr, M., „Jazz Komposition: Theorie und Praxis“, in: Musiktheorie und Komposition (Folkwang Studien 15, 2015), 307–314.

Kahr, M., „Historische Entwicklung des Institutes für Jazz“, in: 50 Jahre Institut Jazz / Kunst Uni Graz (2015).

Christa Bruckner-Haring and Kahr, M., „Jazznetworks in Austria: The Jazzwerkstatt Initiative“. in: The Cultural Politics of Jazz Collectives: This Is Our Music, eds. Tony Whyton and Nicholas Gebhardt (Routledge 2015), 177–196.

Kahr, M., “Upper Styrian Big Band Folk – Exploring Local Authenticity and Identity in Jazz“,   in: Journal for Artistic Research 3 (2013) www.jar-online.net, online access only http://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/21732/21733

Bruckner-Haring C. and Kahr, M., “Jazzwerkstatt Graz: A Young Austrian Jazz Initiative”, in: Jazz Research Journal 5.1/2 (2011), 176-186, online version       http://www.equinoxpub.com/journals/index.php/JAZZ/article/view/13391.

Kahr, M., “Projektvorstellung: Jazz & the City”, in: Jazz Research News 39 (2011), 1852-1854 print only (www.jazzresearch.org).

CD recordings

Michael Kahr, Jazz & the City (and me…), Alessa Records ALR 1047 (2016) www.alessarecords.at

Dorothea Jaburek, Mei eigene Wöd, MM Music Productions (2014) www.dorotheajaburek.com.

Kahr, M. (composer, arranger), High Styria Big Band, Upper Styrian Big Band Folk, Manus (2011)  www.highstyriabigband.at

KUG Graz, JAZZ COMP GRAZ 2011, (Vol. 41/1CD), University of Music and Performing Arts Graz   (2011) www.kug.ac.at.

Paper presentations

Kahr, M., „Artistic Research in Jazz and Popular Music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz“, flash presentation at the AEC EPARM Conference. Royal Conservatoire Antwerp (2017).

Kahr, M., „50 Years of Academic Jazz in Europe“, paper presentation at the Continentaldrift Conference, Edinburgh Napier University Scotland. Edinburgh (2016).

Kahr, M. and André Doehring, „Jazz und Popularmusik an der Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz“, paper presentation at the IASPM D-A-CH Konferenz. Graz (2016).

Kahr, M., „The Institute for Jazz Research in Graz“, panel discussion at the Conference for Popular Music Research at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien. Vienna (2014)

Kahr, M., “Die Entwicklung des Grazer Jazzinstitutes als Rollenmodell für die akademische Jazzausbildung in Europa“, paper presentation at the Conference „Growing Up“, Luzern (2014).

Kahr, M., “The Academic Jazz Institution in Graz and its Role in Promoting Jazz in Europe”, Jazz Talks Conference, University of Aveiro, Portugal (2013)    http://jazztalks.web.ua.pt/aveiro_ENG.html.

Kahr, M., “Jazz & the City”, paper presentation at the Science Saloon, Verein 08, Vienna (2013) http://www.verein08.at/2013/05/21/science-salon-23-05-2013/.

Kahr, M., “Upper Styrian Big Band Folk: A case study of artistic research regarding the use of   historical resources in the contemporary musical expression of a rural community in the      European Alps”, paper presentation at the ICTM conference, Shanghai Conservatory, Shanghai (2013) http://ictm2013.shcmusic.edu.cn/ictmimages/Preliminary%20Program.pdf.

Kahr, M., “Out of nowhere: The role of jazz institutions in Graz in the formation of jazz identity”, paper presentation at Rhythm Changes Conference, Salford (2013)   http://de.scribd.com/doc/132628820/Rethinking-Jazz-Cultures-Programme.

Kahr, M., “Kreativität und Wissenschaft”, invited paper presentation at the lecture series “Science Talk”, organized by the Austrian Ministry of Science, Vienna (2013) www.aula-wien.at/file/6c6ef819f58fd282209de5573a9d5b38.

Kahr, M., “Forschung in der Kunst”, invited lecture recital at the series “Science Brunch”, organized    by the Austrian Ministry of Science, Vienna (2013) www.aula-wien.at/file/6c6ef819f58fd282209de5573a9d5b38.

Kahr, M., “Analytische Beobachtungen zum Streicherklang in Rock- und Popmusik”, invited paper presentation at the Conference “Enthnomusicology and Popular Music     Studies” Kunstuniversität Graz (2012).

Kahr, M., ”Jazz & the City” lecture recital with Ewald Oberleitner at the “Lange Nacht der          Forschung” at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz (2012)    https://www.kug.ac.at/fileadmin/…/Lange_Nacht_der_Forschung.pdf.

Kahr., M., “Jazz & the City: A Research Project”, Rhythm Changes Knowledge Transfer, MICA,  Vienna (2012) http://www.rhythmchanges.net/tag/graz.

Kahr, M. “Jazz Komposition: Theorie und Praxis”, paper presentation at the Conference of the Society for Music Theory, Essen (2012).

Kahr, M., “Jazz & the City”, invited paper presentation at the annual meeting of the International Association of Schools of Jazz IASJ, Graz (2012) http://www.iasj.com/iasj-jazz-meetings/iasj-jazz-meeting-2012/2012-ongoing-dialogues.

Kahr, M., “Artistic Research in Jazz – A Case Study”, paper presentation at the MuSA Conference, Karlsruhe (2012) http://musa2012.zilmusic.com/Programme.html.

Kahr, M. “Jazz, Pop, Rock im Steirischen Musikschulwerk”, keynote presentation, Kapfenberg (2011) http://www.ms-steiermark.at/home/newsletter/Newsletter_2010_2011_50.pdf.

Kahr, M., “Jazz & the City”, paper presentation at the Rhythm Changes Conference, Amsterdam (2011).

[1]Henry Martin, “Jazz Theory: An Overview”, Annual Review of Jazz Studies 8 (1996), 1-17.

[2]Paper presentation at the Conference of the Society for Music Theory in Essen, published as Kahr, M. “Jazz Komposition: Theorie und Praxis“, in: Folkwang Studies (2014) and Kahr, M., “Theoretic Speculations on Speculative Theory in Jazz” (2017 in preparation).

 

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