On the first Sunday of every month from 6-7pm (MST), the Racer Sessions (Seattle) and the FreeSessions unite to host a collaborative session on Zoom! A new featured artist presents a short set to begin the session, followed by a free-improv-based jam session that is open to all. Each month’s opening performer will also choose a social justice organization or cause that we will learn more about and direct donations toward for the month.
ZOOM Link for Sunday’s session: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/
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Neil’s Blog Post:
Racer heads, this afternoon I have four pieces I’d like to share with you, played on soprano, tenor and bass saxes. At the beginning of the pandemic, I had high hopes for myself to create a new composition that was truly my best work possible. I thought of this as the kind of piece I could write “if I only had the time.” Well, this grand new piece remains locked up tight inside me. My mind won’t go there, my hands won’t play it and the staff paper more often than not remains blank. What has come to fruition though was a slow but steady realization that with time now retooled, I can learn to cultivate patience with my music-making, spot periods of eagerness to create, trust those inclinations, and often some small solo saxophone offering will bubble up. These improvs have started to feel like little time capsules among the gravity of the COVID era. This Sunday, I’d like to share with you 4 such examples. These are all pieces recorded in the past week or two. They are my small offering in the warping of our space/time which is right here, right now.
Your daily friend,
Neil also has provided us with a prompt idea for the jam to follow:
For our jam to follow the opening set, please consider specific artistic areas that have helped to foster your creativity during this difficult period in our lives. What specific musical concepts, personal reflections, actions or artistic mindsets have helped you weather this storm? I would love it if a few volunteers could share something specific with us that might help inform the musical direction of a handful of group improvisations.
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Neil has chosen the North Helpline as this month’s beneficiary! Read more below and please donate if you are able:
The North Helpline is a social service center and food bank located in North Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood. The North Helpline “believes that all deserve adequate food, housing, and respect. We assist our neighbors in obtaining basic needs that affirm their human dignity and worth.”
Following Neil’s set, the organizers will facilitate an open jam session until 6pm PST for anyone who would like to improvise!
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Meeting ID: 884 4798 4950
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/
ZOOM AUDIO SETTINGS RECOMMENDATIONS:
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) Preferences/Settings → Audio
a. Turn OFF: “Automatically adjust microphone volume.”
b. Adjust Input Volume. You can click “Test Mic” to hear how it sounds.
c. Turn ON: ‘Show in-meeting option to “Enable Original Sound” from microphone.’
d. If you are using an ethernet cable, turn ON: ‘High fidelity music mode.’
e. If you are using headphones, turn OFF: ‘Echo cancellation.’
f. If you are using a stereo capable microphone or audio interface, turn ON: ‘Stereo audio.’ Ethernet cable recommended when using this setting.
3) 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.”
4) If possible, connect to the internet with an Ethernet cable, not WiFi.