A case for innovation in jazz through integration of the digital/moving image

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




The Australasian Computer Music Association


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)




O'Halloran, T. (2018). A case for innovation in jazz through integration of the digital/moving image. In Australasian Computer Music Conference 2018 (pp. 51-59). Perth, Western Australia: Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University. Available here


The incorporation of screens in our daily life is slowly impacting and reshaping our jazz listening experiences. Are new methods to engage with the digital image and ‘jazz’ performance more relevant now than ever before? How are composers and performers of jazz able to be agencies of intentional works that embrace this extra dimension of multi-media?

The possibilities of digital and moving image within many other contemporary art practices are well known (Rugg et. al., 2007, Sukla, 2001). This paper will consider the impact of utilizing video and images as a vehicle for innovation within jazz performances. It will begin by briefly positioning jazz within the multi-media and music performance paradigm, and also investigate any past and present ‘jazz’ works that have embraced this as an integrated conceptual focus. Attention will then turn to the technical manner in which this may be achieved – by observing the performance environment, aesthetics and current technology associated with artists like Edit Bunker. The paper will then move to document my own first attempts at constructing a performing and improvising environment and creative works primarily via Ableton Live 9 and Resolume Avenue 6 software.

I argue that by augmenting conventional performance modes of jazz with additional meanings via video or image – we prime the creative and experimental spectrum of jazz with new possibilities for impact in the 21st century. Further, that this could contribute to wider notions of jazz (including a wider and more diverse range of participants) will be explored, as well as possible implications; such as genre lurring, inter-textuality and multi-disciplinary outcomes and approaches.

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