Mayana Kantor – Cello
Ed Stalling – Drums
Nancy Seldin – Recorder
Tanner Fruit – Saxophone
Amelia Thornton – Violin
Linden Marie – Voice
Caroline Keys – Lap Steel
Naomi Siegel – Conductor
Steve Kalling – Bass
Joe Glassy – Guitar
Thanks for being a part of the kick-off of The FreeSessions – the new all-ages, improvised, curated jam session occurring on the first Sunday of the month at Imagine Nation Brewing Company.
Each month a curator will present, perform, discuss, and/or share from 6:00-6:30pm. From 6:30-8:00pm, participants are encouraged and invited to partake in group improvisations. The curator may set a theme for these improvisations.
I am thrilled to be kicking off these sessions with a demonstration by the Missoula Conduction Experiment – a multi-generational group of Missoula musicians spanning an array of backgrounds in music. We will play a short set of improvisations created through Conduction – a method of using signals to construct or modify sound in real time developed by Butch Morris.
I have had the pleasure of playing in a band for the last 6 years that uses Conduction. I love the feeling of having to stay on my toes, keep listening, and jump in to serve the music at any given moment in any given role as indicated by the Conductor. There is an inherent interplay and trust between conductor and improviser.
Conduction has a way of fostering an environment of immediate intentionality, of playing without judgment, of playing without planning out what you’re going to play ahead of time, of playing and listening. With less time to think, it can be easier to just play with conviction. To participate. To add to the music the best you can within the parameters of the given signal. It takes away a few of the decisions of when and how to play.
Group Norms for the Session.
Listening. Listening. Listening.
Play your truth and trust your voice
Listening to the group
For these sessions, let’s be inspired by Conduction by committing to listening, jumping in with conviction to serve the music, and being aware of what’s happening with the whole group.
The FreeSessions is a space to create and interact with other musicians in new ways. It is a place to experiment. It is a place listen, play with conviction, and let the pieces of music be how they are without judgment. This is an invitation to try something new, to play something you’ve never played before, to practice listening like you’re hearing things for this first time.
We will have a drum set, amps, and a keyboard available. For folks who play those kinds of instruments, all you have to do is bring your sticks, guitar, bass, fingers and so forth.
More from Naomi Siegel, the curator
I was introduced to Conduction in 2011 by Wayne Horvitz, who learned directly from Butch Morris – the principle theorist and practitioner in the evolution of Conduction. I’ve been a member of Wayne’s Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble for the last 6 years where we use Conduction in conjunction with written big band music. In this ensemble I have had the pleasure of playing with many of Seattle’s most prolific and creative improvisers who add their own unique voices to the ensemble, as directed by Wayne the conductor.
Many of the folks in the Missoula Conduction Ensemble have been taking free improvisation classes with me on Monday nights, which has been a thoughtful and beautiful exploration into creating music together without preconceived notions of tempo, key, structure, harmony, melody, form, genre. Instead, we cast those elements to the side to put an emphasis on listening and intuitive creation. We become in tune with our breath and bodies before creating sound. We are interested in proactive listening and participation. We honor the silences just as much as the sounds. We play games and set limitations to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. We practice listening, listening, listening. This class has been very much inspired by the work of Pauline Oliveros. I have been incredibly inspired by all the participants of this class to create in new ways.
Learn more about Conduction from Butch Morris himself:
Pauline Oliveros: Listening as Activism
Conduction by Wayne Horvitz used in conjunction with written music.
Conduction by Tyshawn Sorey.