Peter Johnston — Curriculum Vitae

EDUCATION

2010
Ph.D., Ethnomusicology, York University
Dissertation Title: “Fields of Production and Streams of Consciousness: Negotiating the Musical and Social Practices of Improvised Music”
Supervisor: Dr. Robert Simms

2006-2007
Associate Graduate, Goldsmiths College, University of London

2005
M.A., Music Composition, York University
Thesis Title: “Travelling Without Maps: Contemporary Issues and Approaches Related To Composing For Improvising Musicians”
Supervisor: Dr. David Mott

2000
B.Mus., Concentration in Composition, Dalhousie University. Supervisor: Dr Dennis Farrell
Double bass: Max Kasper
Jazz and Improvisation: Don Palmer

Summer Programs

2008
The Summer Institute For Critical Studies in Improvisation, University of Guelph

2000
The Banff Centre International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music


PUBLICATIONS

Refereed Journals

Johnston, Peter. “Teaching Improvisation and the Pedagogical History of the Jimmy Giuffre 3.” International Journal of Music Education 31, no. 4 (2013): 383-393

Johnston, Peter. “Labour, Creativity, and the Politics of Profit in the Improvised Music Field.”
Critical Studies in Improvisation 9, no. 1 (2014)


Self-published Manuscript

2006
Contemporary Compositions for Beginning Jazz Ensemble: A Progressive Method To Teaching Jazz Improvisation and Ensemble Performance Practices

This text, written primarily for junior high and high school students, has been used at the Acadia University Summer Music Institute, and is currently in use in several Nova Scotia high schools, including: Kings-Edgehill School, Avonview High School, Hants West Middle School, and Dorian Hall Academy of Music in Windsor, Nova Scotia. In addition, several of the compositions in this book were performed at Musicfest Canada 2008 by the community ensemble Easily Distracted (based in Windsor Nova Scotia), who won a gold standard for their performance.


AWARDS AND HONOURS

2006
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Scholarship

London Goodenough Association Of Canada Scholarship

2005
York University Entrance Scholarship (Ph.D.)

2004
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Canada Graduate Scholarship Program Master’s Scholarship

2003
York University Entrance Scholarship (M.A.)

2000
Dalhousie University Medal, awarded for highest grade point average in a graduating class

1999
Juno Award for “Best New Group” as a member of the Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra

1998
East Coast Music Award for “Best Jazz Album” as a member of the Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra


Grants

2014

Ontario Arts Council Chalmers Arts Fellowship to compose music for solo double bass and electronics

Toronto Arts Council Audio Recording Grant to record a CD of original music with Aurochs

Toronto Arts Council Music Project Grant for presenting the third Somewhere There Creative Music Festival in Toronto

Canada Council for the Arts: Grants to Professional Musicians - Individuals to compose music for See Through Trio


2013
Canada Council for the Arts: Production Grant in Music to record a new CD with
See Through Trio

Canada Council for the Arts: New Music Program - Project Funding. Awarded for presenting the second annual
Somewhere There Music Festival

2012
Canada Council for the Arts: New Music Program - Project Funding. Awarded for developing and presenting the
Somewhere There Music Festival

2010
Ontario Arts Council: Chalmers Professional Development Grant, awarded to study with American bassists Barre Phillips and Gary Peacock


INVITED TALKS

2011
“Such Sweet Thunder: The Art and Craft of Duke Ellington,” lecture-recital delivered at the University of Toronto Scarborough as part of the World Rhythms Performance Lecture Series (9 February)

2010
“After the Avant-garde: Free Improvisation in London, England and the Emergence of a Modernist Work Ethic,” presentation at the Ryerson University Music Series: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (22 February)


CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS AND PERFORMANCES

2014
Contemporary Approaches to Composing For Improvisers,” paper delivered at the Canadian University Music Society Annual Conference

2012
“Teaching Improvisation and the Pedagogical History of the Jimmy Giuffre 3,” paper delivered at the Guelph Jazz Festival And Colloquium, University of Guelph

“The Improvisation of Everyday Music,” paper delivered at the Society of Ethnomusicology Niagara chapter conference, University of Toronto

“Improvising Identity: Jazz, Experimental Music, and the Politics of Musical Migration,” paper delivered at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Canada Conference, Acadia University


2011
“Labour, Creativity, and the Politics of Profit in the Improvised Music Field,” paper delivered at the Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice conference “Making the Changes: Ethics and the Improvising Business,” University of Guelph

“Sounding the System: Improvisation, Creativity, and Contemporary Music Pedagogy,” paper delivered at the Canadian University Music Society annual Conference, Mount Allison University


2009
“Fields of Production and Streams of Consciousness: Explorations into the
Concept of Free Improvisation,” paper delivered at the York University Graduate Music Student Colloquium

“Calling All Outlaws: Improvising Musicians and the Problems with Social Justice,” paper delivered at the Improvisation, Community, And Social Practice Conference, McGill University

“From Mainstream to Downstream: Jimmy Giuffre and the Deconstruction of the Jazz Art World,” paper delivered at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Canada Conference, Dalhousie University

“Music in Canada,” lecture delivered at York University in the undergraduate class FA/MUSI 2200: Music and Cultures II—A History of Western Music


2008
“Getting The Music Off The Page: Practice-based Research and the Construction of the Practitioner-Theorist,” paper delivered at the Guelph Jazz Festival And Colloquium, University of Guelph

“From The Inside Looking Out: Practice-based Research and the Study of Improvisation,” paper delivered at the Improvisation, Community, And Social Practice Conference, McGill University

“Producing the Process: Issues In Composing For Free Improvisers,” lecture-recital delivered at the Canadian University Music Society Annual Conference, University of British Columbia


2007
“Searching For Uncommon Ground: Eddie Prévost’s Improvisation Workshop and the Construction of Collective Identity,” paper delivered at the Guelph Jazz Festival And Colloquium, University of Guelph

“Dancing About Architecture: An Investigation Into the Practice of Writing About Improvisation,” paper delivered at the Leeds International Jazz Conference, Leeds College of Music


2006
“What’s Left Is Faking It: Collective Improvisation and the Creative Process of the Jimmy Giuffre 3,” paper delivered at the Guelph Jazz Festival And Colloquium, University of Guelph

Eleven Pieces for Improvising Trio,” mini concert at the Canadian University Music Society Annual Conference, York University

“The Life Of A Trio: Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley, and Steve Swallow,” paper delivered at the York University Graduate Student Annual Colloquium

“Selections From Eleven Pieces for Improvising Trio,” lecture-recital delivered at the University of Toronto Music Graduate Students Association Conference


2004
“Jimmy Giuffre: Unsung Avant-garde Jazz Composer and Improviser,” paper delivered at the Association For Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Annual Conference in Austin, Texas


TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Humber College - Sessional Lecturer, 2014-2015
Critical Perspectives in Contemporary Music (Fall 2014, Winter 2015)
Music In Contemporary Society (Fall 2014)
History of Canadian Music (Winter 2015)

Ryerson University - Sessional Lecturer, 2014
Gospel Music - Songs of the Spirit (Winter 2014)
Music Cultures of the City (Fall 2014)
Popular Music and Culture (Winter 2015)

York University -Teaching Assistant, 2005-2010
Music and Cultures I (2009)
Music and Cultures II: A History of Western Music (2008)
Workshop in Musicianship (2005)

Music Tutor, 2009-2010
Contemporary Musicianship and Improvisation (2009)

FREELANCE TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2010-2014
Conductor of the
Toronto All-Star Big Band, which is a large community jazz ensemble composed of high school and university students who must audition for admittance

Bass, guitar, and music theory instructor at
Kitchen Music Studio and Canada Music Academy

Private lessons in bass, guitar, theory, and musicianship conducted in my home studio

2002-2005
Marc Enkin Music, Toronto, ON
Private and ensemble lessons, working with beginning and intermediate guitar, bass, and drum students

2000-2001
Canadian Conservatory Summer Rock Camp, Halifax NS
Private and Ensemble lessons in popular music performance

1999-2008
Acadia University Summer Music Institute, Wolfville, NS
Private and ensemble lessons, teaching jazz improvisation and general musicianship to high school students


Recordings

As a leader

2014
See Through Trio - Parallel Lights, Woods And Waters

Aurochs - Rational Animals, Woods And Waters

2012
See Through Trio –
Near Northern Static, Woods And Waters

2009
See Through Trio –
Lines and Spaces, Woods And Waters

2007
See Through Trio –
Our Own Devices, independent

2000
Quatrain -
Adamant Shoals, independent

1997
The Art Ensemble Of Halifax -
Exile On The Wayside and Subfield Emissions, independent

As a side person

2011
MuskoxInvocation/Transformations, independent.
Recording funded by Ontario Arts Council.


AIMToronto Orchestra – Year of the Boar, Barnyard Records
Recording funded by Canada Council for the Arts
Listen at:
www.barnyardrecords.com

2009
Muskox –
Five Pieces, Standard Form

2008
Muskox –
Gallantries, Woods and Waters

2006
George Grosman –
Mango, independent

2005
Danny Bakan -
“…and truth is spectacular”, independent, Golden Quill Porcupine Award

Paradise Public Radio –
It Seems Like Only Yesterday… independent

2004
John Wesley Chisholm –
Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts, Arcadia Entertainment Inc. East Coast Music Award nominee

1999
Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra –
Holiday Romance, Universal Music. Juno Award winner

Joel Plaskett -
In Need of Medical Attention, No Alternative

1997
Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra -
Life Desire, Lucky Life Recordings. East Coast Music Award winner


Compositions and Performances

2013
Performed in the premiere of Canadian composer Martin Arnold’s piece Mill O’Tifty’s Annie at the Somewhere There Music Festival

2012
See Through Trio CD release concert for
Near Northern Static

Performed with Doc Severinson and the Toronto All Star Big Band

Performed with Muskox and Jeremy Stratchan at the Guelph Jazz Festival

2011
AIM Toronto Orchestra CD release with special guest saxophonist Evan Parker

Performed with Muskox at the JazzEast “Out Like A Lion” festival in Halifax


2010
Performed with SISTER at the Pop Montreal Festival


2009
Performed with Muskox at The Music Gallery, supporting Charles Spearin’s The Happiness Project


2008
Live recording for CBC Radio’s
The Signal, with Muskox

Summer tour of British Columbia with See Through Trio

2007
Summer tour of Nova Scotia with See Through Trio, culminating with a performance at The Atlantic Jazz Festival, Halifax

2006
Performed for Queen Elizabeth II in London, England as part of the Royal Visit to Goodenough College

2005
Performance of
Eleven Pieces For Improvising Trio at The Distillery Jazz Festival, the ArrayMusic Studio Leftover Daylight concert series, and at the Tranzac Club

Large jazz ensemble
compositions Black River and Flat Earth Suite premiered by the Toronto Jazz Orchestra at the ArrayMusic Studio

2004
Premier of
Spiral Glider, for chamber ensemble. Performed by the Continuum Ensemble in the Dacary Concert Hall, York University

2001
Music for the film
A Fresh Start by Halifax filmmaker Jason Buxton, which played at the Toronto Film Festival and the Atlantic Film Festival

2000
Premier of
String Quartet, Sextet For Strings, and Three Canadian Poems. Performed by members of Symphony Nova Scotia in the James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie University

Music For Jazz Quartet performed by Quatrain at the Atlantic Jazz Festival, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Music for
Being Here, a modern dance work by Toronto choreographer Sally Morgan

Performed at the Banff Centre for the Arts as part of the Summer Jazz Workshop

1999
Performed as a member of the Upstream Orchestra for a series of concerts with Symphony Nova Scotia and Peter Weigold, as part of the Open Waters Music Festival

1995-Present
Frequent performances in clubs, restaurants, concerts and private affairs in jazz, folk, and rock ensembles, often performing my own compositions


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2013-present
Artistic Director of the
Somewhere There Creative Music Festival

2012 -present
Board member of Somewhere There Creative Music Presentations

2010
Co-artistic Director of Music(in)Galleries, an annual event that features musicians performing in a series of art galleries in downtown Toronto

2003-2005
Graduate Research Assistant, York University
Archiving audio files for the York University Pop Music Archives and Music Gallery Collection

2002-2003
Assistant Musical Director and bassist, Ship’s Company Theatre, Parrsboro, NS

1996-1999
Musical Director and bassist, Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra
Performed in many of the major cities in North America

1995-Present
Self employed bassist, composer, and bandleader


Professional Affiliations

Canadian University Music Society
International Society for Improvised Music
Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)