Ed Stalling & John Sporman present Sunday, September 6 – FreeSessions resume collaboration with the Racer Sessions for the Zoom Sessions Online

From the organizers:

We are excited to resume our monthly sessions this Sunday 9/6 in collaboration with Seattle’s Racer Sessions online. Online sessions will go from 6-7pm MT. We’ll feature a curator for the first 15 minutes, and open up to improvisations from the community after that. Every month we will highlight and donate to a racial justice organization, encouraging our community to support this organization as well. We are supporting racial justice organizations in order to honor and recognize the profound influence of Black music on our community and the systemic way Black people have not been properly supported by the music industry and our general society. We feel it is important to catalyze our privilege as a community to support Black people and other marginalized communities.

For September, the curators have chosen to highlight the Southern Poverty Law Center. Read the blog post below for more information. Find suggestions below the blog post for optimizing Zoom audio settings.

Sunday, September 6, 6pm MT Zoom link for the session:

Blog post by Ed Stalling:

Combined Racer Session (Seattle) & FreeSession (Lakebottom Sound, Missoula) 

September 6, 2020

FreeSessions’ aim is to use improvisation to help bridge the different “scenes” that exist across genres in Missoula.  Sunday’s opening is just that:  two artists from different “scenes” coming together to improvise a piece they call “Through The Window.”

Ed Stalling and John Sporman are no stranger to the Montana music scene.  Combined, they perform over 250 gigs a year in a wide variety of groups, genres and settings. 

Multi-instrumentalist John Sporman creates and performs with national touring groups (currently with Wylie and The Wild West), local bands (Tom Catmull and Clerics, Shahs, NextDoorPrisonHotel, Avant-Garde Alliance), and also writes scores for films, silent movies and dance pieces.  

Percussionist Ed Stalling has been described as having “huge ears and an even larger command of subtle dynamics.”  His performance experience crosses genres ranging from pit-orchestras and big bands to traditional Brazilian combos, covering all points on the musical compass.

They will present an improvisational piece called “Through The Window”


Through The Window


Many of us across the world have loved ones in nursing homes.  We put our hands together on windows — generations separated by glass.  On one side, those at the end of their lives; having lived through the great depression, a world war, the turmoil of the 60’s.  On the other side, their grown kids, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  Unable to hug or hold hands, communications fraught by bad hearing and dementia, it’s a sad meeting of confusion, frustration, and sadness. 

I’m at such a window in Missoula with my 97-year old mother-in-law.  Pictures alone can’t express how surreal it is so we’ll try music.  We’ll have an improvisational musical conversation exploring: What is it like?  To be confused, tired, isolated, 97 years old, looking out a window at your daughter, your grandkids, your great-grandkids, not quite knowing why they can’t come in and what’s happening.

Invest in Social Justice:

We want to Spotlight and encourage donating to SPLC, The Southern Poverty Law Center.  Hate groups are using social media to grow hate, and this is a group that is a counter-balance to them.  They fight hate from three angles:

  1. They monitor hate groups and other extremists throughout the US and expose their activities to the public, the media and law enforcement.
  2. They Teach Tolerance by providing educational resources to teachers that emphasize anti-bias and social justice — encourages children and young people to challenge prejudice and learn how to be agents of change in their own lives. 
  3. They stand up for the powerless, the exploited and other victims of discrimination and hate.  With a staff of more than 100 lawyers and advocates, SPLC focuses on impact litigation in these practice areas: Children’s RightsEconomic JusticeImmigrant JusticeLGBTQ Rights, Voting Rights, and Criminal Justice Reform.

SPLC also gets the highest rating from Charity Navigator — meaning they are a well-managed, efficient, reputable not-for-profit.



0) TURN ON ORIGINAL SOUND! (details below)

1) Use a laptop if possible (not a phone or a tablet)

a. Use headphones when playing with other people

b. Use external mic if available

2) Settings → Audio

a. Turn OFF: Automatically adjust microphone volume

b. Adjust microphone level

c. Optionally: turn ON “Enable stereo” (this options needs to be activated first on your zoom account)

3) Settings → Audio → Advanced

a. Turn on: ‘show in-meeting option to “Enable Original Sound” from microphone’

b. Disable: both Background Noise options

c. Echo Cancellation: Auto

4) Turn on Original Sound!

a. Turn it on in the top left of the meeting; if it’s on, it should read “Turn off Original Sound”

5) If possible, connect to the internet with an Ethernet cable, not WiFi