Philoctetes Center

Philoctetes Center for the Multi-Disciplinary Study of Imagination
New York City
Performance/ discussions hosted by Jane Ira Bloom

From 2008 to 2011 Jane Ira Bloom hosted a series of performance/ discussions at the Philoctetes Center for the Multi-Disciplinary Study of Imagination in New York City. The center, directed by Francis Levy & Ed Nersessian was housed at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and established to promote an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of creativity and the imaginative process.

Cross Cultural Improvisation (May 03, 2008)

Music Performance & Discussion
Participants: Jane Ira Bloom, Geetha Ramanathan Bennett, Min Xiao-Fen

Live improvisation is a window into the instant of creative inspiration. Although the skills required to improvise fluently require years of diligent practice, a rare momentary state of mental clarity and physical attunement gives voice to an unpredictable, yet nuanced form of expression. Three world renowned women improviser/composers-jazz soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom, Chinese pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-Fen, and South Indian veena artist Geetha Ramanathan Bennett-will perform and talk about their approaches to their artistry. They will play in solo, duo, and trio configurations. In addition to their music, each is an accomplished creator in a different artistic domain, namely Ms. Bloom's abstract photography, Ms. Xiao-Fen's Chinese textile art and calligraphy, and Ms. Bennett's Tamil short stories. They will discuss what compels their artistry as musical improvisers, and how it relates to their expression in other art forms. As women playing traditionally "non-feminine" instruments in their respective musical cultures, they will consider similarities as well as differences in their musical thinking. They will be accompanied by drummer/composer Dr. Frank Bennett on mrdangham (South Indian drum).