Fall 2023 NOW ​Improvisation Workshops

NOW ​Improvisation Workshops

Fall 2023 At 8EAST 2 - 3:30 pm

2:00 - 3:30 pm Sunday Oct 1

2:00 - 3:30 pm Saturdays October 28 - November 25

FREE with NOW Membership, Donations gratefully accepted (here).

for up to 15 participants


Since 1978, the New Orchestra Workshop Society (NOW) has presented music improvisation workshops, offering space for exploration and participation. Our workshops are for improvisers of all levels of ability and ranges of experience, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race or religion. We protect privacy in our workshops and adopt the We Have Voice Collective Code of Conduct. Read more about NOW workshop policies here.

These workshops will be presented in person at 8EAST. Find out more about each workshop facilitator below.

October 1 - Arrington de Dionyso


photo: Henrik Lovgren

An uncompromising voice in contemporary music, Arrington de Dionyso integrates ancient soundmaking techniques with trans-modernist inquiries into the nature of consciousness. His propulsive improvisations utilize voice and reeds (primarily bass clarinets and his invention the Bromiophone) as multiphonic tools in the navigation of liminal spaces between shamanic seance and rock and roll ecstasy.

While deeply rooted in the punk inclination to tear down musical standards in an effort for liberation, Arrington's music weds no-wave iconoclasm with the spiritual searching of Albert Ayler-era free jazz to reach towards an unveiling of primordially potent universalities. His compositions embrace sounds as colors, placing emphasis on the complimentary spectrums- from circular overtones whispered through bamboo flutes to the penetrating and deeply guttural howls of amplified throat singing - all with the lungs of an Olympiad.



October 28 - Erika Angell


photo: Susan Moss

Erika Angell is one of Canada’s more experimental and free spirited voices. She grew up on an island off of the Swedish west coast but relocated to Montreal in 2013. Le Devoir has described her work: ”Erika’s voice sits alongside the greatest female artists, those who are not afraid of anything, PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, Patti Smith.” Her voice is central in the eclectic music she creates, and her everlasting goal lies in pushing musical boundaries to present innovative and brave art, including releasing music under her own name, music that features her roots in free improv and electronically processed live music.



November 4 - Mike WT Allen


photo: Mike WT Allen

Described by Discorder Magazine as a "compositional tour de force" Mike WT Allen is a composer, bandleader, and performing musician based out of Vancouver, Canada, on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh people. Mike strives to involve himself in as many different sides and styles of music as possible in his artistic work. As a composer he has had his compositions performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Redshift Music, Hard Rubber Orchestra, among others. As a performer Mike has toured internationally playing anywhere from big festival stages to intimate weird-jazz clubs (and he's played a hair salon twice!) 



November 11 - Marilou Craft and Raphaël Foisy Coulture


Photo by Clara Houeix

Marilou Craft lives in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyaang/Montreal and works at the confluence of literature and performing arts. An artist of words, performance and metaphor, she is also a translator, a dramaturgical advisor associated with the Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) and a member of the editorial board of the poetry magazine Estuaire. In addition to her involvement in the group AC/CC (with Sarah Albu, Belinda Campbell and Eric Craven) she regularly experiments with a variety of improvisational practices.


Raphaël Foisy improvises, his approach is the one of a dynamic dilettante driven by excessive enthusiasm. He plays (double)bass, guitar, trumpet and sometimes electronics. As a former member of the collective La Passe and co-organizer of the series Mardis Spaghetti, and Mardis Tous Croches (2014-2016), he helped organize hundreds of concerts for musicians from all around the world. He has released albums on Notice, HAVN, Rara Avis and Arachnidisc. He is also the founder and director of the Small Scale Music label.



November 18 - Andrea Wong


photo: Marc L'Esperence

Andrea Wong is a sound designer and new media artist based in Vancouver and Calgary. Her practice currently explores technology, immersive experiences, and free improvisation. Andrea currently co-hosts a monthly music community gathering called Improv Karaoke, and performs on the zheng with Spencer Schoening (drum set) in an experimental duo, Public Dreams.



November 25 - Leanna Keith


Photo by Kelly O

A freelance flutist, artist, improviser, and composer in the Seattle area, Leanna Keith (she/they) delights in creating sound experiences that make audiences laugh, cry, and say: “I didn’t know the flute could do that!” Their works focus on spontaneous sound creation, timbre-shifting, the mixed-race experience, queer theory, and the breaking of performer/audience boundaries. She is dedicated to playing music by composers who are still living, and advocates for the usage of music as social activism. Leanna is the professor of flute at Cornish College of the Arts. She is currently in the process of recording her second album, "A Body of Breath", which features new works for bass flute, as a part of their Jack Straw residency. Her latest project - "Rice, Blood, Sugar" a piece that explores the experience of heritage language loss, premiered in fall of 2023 as part of the Nonseq series.