Creative Music Studio was founded in 1971 by Karl Berger, a vibraphonist, pianist and composer; his wife, vocalist Ingrid Sertso; and the saxophonist Ornette Coleman. This day-long symposium, a series of panels, moderated by Berger, Howard Mandel, and Ben Young, featured CMS musicians such as Oliver Lake, Adam Rudolph, Sylvain Leroux, Don Davis, Ingrid Sertso, Rob Saffer, Ilene Marder, James Emery, Marilyn Crispell, and Steve Gorn. The panels explored the history of CMS, assessing the impact of the CMS experience on musical developments and individual careers. It presented CMS philosophies and practices, such as "Music Universe"--the concept CMS pioneered that adopts an inclusive, non-sylistic focus on the common ground of the world's musical expressions, exploring and expanding multiple languages of contemporary improvised music. Another panel explored "Music Mind"--finding ways to deepen the experience of playing and listening to music, focusing on attention, expression and communication. A final panel discussed the legacy of audio, visual, and text resources CMS now posesses and the aim of making them widely available to the public.
CMS is now working with the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University for the future development and maintenance of the CMS Archive Project, a massive undertaking aimed at the preservation of the large collection of CMS live recordings created between 1972 and 1986, which featured some of the most outstanding and ground-breaking composers/performers in World Jazz, World Music, and New Music. The Project will also include and Oral History component, and this full-day colloquium will capture many oral histories concerning the Creative Music Studio years and the varigated impact of those experiences on the musical outlook of its participants and the larger world of music and culture.