Concert & Workshop Presentation

(Musical) Ethics Lab 6

Splitter Orchester / Trondheim Jazz Orchestra

Close-up of a camera display: the recording shows four musicians on a stage talking to each other. Behind the camera is a collage of musicians making music, instruments and a person writing - the images partially overlap and merge into one another in different sizes.

Splitter Orchester, Improvisation and Ethics © Thomas Martius

Since 2022, Splitter Orchester and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra have been actively exploring the connections between improvisation and ethics in a long-term project initiated by Christopher Williams. At MaerzMusik, they will present the practical results of their musical research as a concert and in an extensive audience discussion.

Panel: Improvisation as Praxis: Music as a Form-of-Life

Saturday 23.3.,16:00, Haus der Berliner Festspiele


Programmebooklet 22.3.2024

Having ethical principles is one thing; acting ethically is something else. The interdisciplinary, practice-oriented research project “(Musical) Improvisation and Ethics” goes beyond the thoughtless execution of established norms and rules, understanding ethics instead as an ongoing process that is constantly being renegotiated. Bringing together artistic researcher Christopher A. Williams, anthropologist Caroline Gatt and philosopher Joshua Bergamin, in a collaborative partnership with Berlin’s Splitter Orchester and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, the project presupposes a combination of habitual behaviour and explores its modulation with and through external and social contexts. To what extent are these processes reflected in the music of large, improvisation-based ensembles? Since early 2022, Berlin’s Splitter Orchester and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra have been exploring this question by assembling in the laboratory at irregular intervals to (re)act as free radicals in self-experimentation, or in different configurations, with varying theoretical and practical focal points. By means of experimental improvised music, they attempt to document the genesis of musical material, making visible and simultaneously questioning the values and norms of improvisational practices and their relationships to human and non-human elements in their immediate surroundings. At MaerzMusik, the Splitter Orchester and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra will for the first time ever join forces on stage to present of the practical results of these intense research processes, both in the form of a concert titled “(Musical) Ethic Lab 6” as well as in an expansive conversation with the audience.


(Musical) Ethics Lab 6

This research project has received funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) under the Zunkunftskolleg programme (grant number ZK93).


With kindly support of 


In cooperation with Akademie der Künste