Vai al contenuto principale

ART - Roelofs

Pubblicato: Venerdì 7 giugno 2024 da Alessandro Giovanni Bertinetto

ART (Aesthetics Research Torino) Philosophical Seminar 


Joris Roelofs

(Conservatorio di Amsterdam) 



June, 19 from h. 6 pm

Spazio musicale “Musica Bis”, Corso Raffaello 11bis, Turin


In ImproPolis I alternates bass clarinet improvisations with brief narrations related to my research topic politics and improvisation. I take the audience through the intriguing themes I encountered while researching the intersections of improvisation and politics, and also ask the audience about their interpretation of improvisation. Improvisation has an ambivalent status; acting without preparation can evoke praise and reproach. During the Covid-19 crisis, for instance, our former Prime Minister Mark Rutte praised citizens for their 'improvisational ability', while they criticised him for what they saw as an 'improvisation cabinet'.

When we think of improvisation and politics, we can think of free jazz musicians such as Max Roach and Charles Mingus, who explicitly linked their musical practice to the fight against racism in general and the civil rights movement in particular. But 'improvise' traditionally also signalled a verbal activity: the word 'improvise' comes from the Italian verb 'improvvisare', which in the 16th century stood for the spontaneous composition of verses and dialogues in Italian popular theatre. Later, Italian solo artists, male improvvisatori and female improvvisatrici, started reciting poetry, asking the audience for themes on the spot.


A common denominator between on-stage improvisation in politics, theatre, poetry, and music is that its outcomes are unpredictable and – absent any text or script – uncontrollable. This attribute of improvisation doesn't sit well with political authorities. Emperor Joseph II, for example, introduced a ban on improvisation in 1770 because of its perceived dangers, and after the French Revolution, improvising actors could end up in jail. This solo set will revolve around these topics, introducing the audience to the historical meanings and political implications of improvised performance.

Joris Roelofs is a bass clarinetist and composer based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He began to study classical clarinet at the age of six, and he added the alto saxophone at age twelve. At sixteen, Joris performed the clarinet introduction to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Orkest van het Oosten. He played lead alto saxophone in the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw (2003–2018), and for five years he was a member of the Vienna Art Orchestra. He has also performed with Brad Mehldau, Lionel Loueke, Meg Stuart, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, among many others.

After completing his master’s degree at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (2007), Joris moved to New York City. His debut album, Introducing Joris Roelofs (2008)features Ari Hoenig, Matt Penman, and Aaron Goldberg. The next two albums, Chamber Tones (2010) and The Ninth Planet (2012), feature Jesse van Ruller and Clemens van der Feen. Joris has also released two albums with his trio, featuring Matt Penman and Ted Poor: Aliens Deliberating (2014) and Amateur Dentist (2015). In 2018 Roelofs released Icarus (2018), a duo album with legendary Dutch drummer and artist Han Bennink.

Rope Dance: Light-Footed Music for All and None is Joris’ latest release. The music is based on Nietzsche’s parable of the rope dancer in Thus Spoke Zarathustra and features Bram van Sambeek on bassoon; the album received five-star reviews in De Volkskrant,, and BBC Music Magazine.

As a composer, Joris has written for solo piano; bassoon; big band; symphony orchestra and big band; as well as four clarinets and rhythm section. His chamber music composition Oh Einsamkeit! for tenor voice, bassoon, cello, and French horn foregrounds Nietzsche's notion of solitude.

Joris currently lives in Amsterdam and chairs the Clarinet Department (Jazz) at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He teaches a master’s course on music and philosophy, “Freedom and Improvisation.” Joris’s lecture “Nietzsche’s Muses” also explores the relationship between music and philosophy.

Joris writes philosophical essays and articles, gives lecture performances and presentations on improvisation-related topics. His piece “To Lie Beyond Good and Evil: A Musical Question of Truth” was published in the peer-reviewed journalTijdschrift voor Filosofie. 

In addition to teaching and performing, Joris is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam. His dissertation is on the political dimension of improvisation, a topic he seeks to incorporate into his musical practice. In his solo set ImproPolis, for example, Joris alternates bass clarinet improvisations with brief narrations related to his research topic. His latest solo set, Red Flag, focuses on the intersection between music and left-wing politics, offering improvised versions of protest, battle and folk songs written or performed by politically engaged artists such as Paul Robeson, Kurt Weill, and Frida Kahlo. 

L’intervento di Joris Roelofs sarà preceduto da una performance del gruppo IMPRO (Conservatorio di Torino)


ART (Aesthetics Research Torino) is a periodic philosophical seminar organized by the Department of Philosophy and Educational Sciences of the University of Turin and the PhD Program FINO.



Prof. Alessandro Bertinetto (University of Turin). 



Dr. Michela Bloisi

Dr. Paolo Furia (University of Turin)

Dr. Jacopo Frascaroli (University of Turin)

Dr. Alberto Martinengo (University of Turin)

Dr. Gregorio Tenti (University of Turin)

Dr. Amalia Salvestrini (Istituto Italiano per gli Studi FIlosofici, Naples)

Dr. Luisa Sampugnaro (University of Turin)

Dr. Ivan Quartesan (FINO)



Dr. Giacomo Albert (University of Turin)

Dr. Nicola Davide Angerame (Turin)

Prof.ssa Serena Feloj (University of Pavia)

Dr. Lisa Giombini (University Rome 3)

Dr. Francesca Monateri (Pisa, Scuola Normale)

Dr. Sofia Boz (University of Padova)

Dr. Leonardo Pietropaolo (University of Turin)

Prof. Carlo Serra (University of Turin/University of Calabria)


ART addresses different topics of the contemporary debate in Aesthetics: philosophy of beauty, philosophy of the arts, theory of sensory experience, philosophy of image and imagination, and history of aesthetics.


ART is supported by:

Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca sulla Morfologia Francesco Moiso (CIM)
Centro Studi Arti della Modernità

Centro Studi Filosofico-religiosi "Luigi Pareyson"

ART is sponsored by: 

Italian Society for Aesthetics (SIE) 
European Society for Aesthetics (ESA)

Ultimo aggiornamento: 07/06/2024 15:33

Non cliccare qui!