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Emily Silks presents Sunday, November 1 (FreeSessions + Racer Sessions = Zoom Sessions)

The first Sunday of every month, FreeSessions will unite to host a free improv opening set and jam session on Zoom in collaboration with the Racer Sessions of Seattle. Each month’s opening performer will choose a social justice organization that we will learn more about and direct donations toward for the month.

ZOOM Link for Sunday’s session: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2412259024

Check out suggested Zoom settings below for optimal participation.

Emily’s blog post:

As a fairly recent transplant from Missoula to Seattle, Racer Sessions and FreeSessions are close to home. I treasure how this project and the community embodies acceptance and exploration. Every session I attend leaves me renewed in my understanding of presence and the art of improvisation. 

I chose to highlight the NAACP this month because of their historic, longstanding dedication to securing equality and eliminating race-based discrimination. As one of the leading civil rights organizations, it is important to acknowledge not only the work the NAACP has already accomplished but also the ways in which we can now help with the work still left to do. Learn more at: https://www.naacp.org/take-action/

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In this curation, I explore the dynamics between isolation and ensemble in an improvised piece for midi keyboard, electric guitar, and snare drum. 

During the last few weeks, I’ve archived my sonic environment during moments when I am alone  – studying for classes, reading, cooking breakfast, sitting outside my house with a morning cup of joe, responding to emails in my bedroom.

I use those recordings to layer, sample, remix, and improvise upon moments of isolation in order to create a collective ensemble.

It is my intention to speak not only to the efforts involved in maintaining joy while subsumed in months of isolation but also to the ways in which feeling alone is still a feeling full of life even while we are apart from others in time and space. 

I ask each group in the open jam session to also consider the intersection of isolation and ensemble as they improvise. 

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Emily Silks (she/her) was born and raised in New Mexico and is now a Seattle based musician and a graduate student in the ethnomusicology department at the University of Washington. She earned her undergraduate degree in percussion performance from the University of Montana in 2018 and is recognized both as a Presser Foundation Scholar and a University Scholar.

 

ZOOM AUDIO SETTINGS SUGGESTIONS: (These instructions are tailored to the latest version of Zoom as of 9/5/2020 — you may want to check that your software is up to date!)

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. If you are using headphones, turn ON: ‘Disable echo cancellation’

c. If you are using an ethernet cable, turn ON: ‘High fidelity music mode’

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

ZOOM AUDIO SETTINGS SUGGESTIONS (for older version):

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