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Melanie Sehman Presents Sunday, June 6th (FreeSessions + Racer Sessions = Zoom Sessions)

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/82014908204?pwd=Mmdoc1RxajQweitXbUo5dTVXNStWZz09 Meeting ID: 820 1490 8204

/ / /

Melanie’s Blog Post:

“This past year for me has been an exercise in minimalism and reduction – reducing my life down to its essentials.

At its most basic has been caring for people. It has also meant an opportunity to pause and reflect. But now, spring augurs

growth, embellishment, curiosity, listening, learning. Let us embellish.”

— Melanie Sehman

/ / /

Melanie Sehman is a drummer, percussionist and educator who enjoys performing in a wide variety of styles. A classical percussionist by training, she specializes in experimental and contemporary music that explores improvisation, gesture, the relationships between music, text and the physical experiences of sound.

Session donations this month will be directed towards the National Women’s Law Center: https://nwlc.org

Following Melanie’s set, the organizers will facilitate an open jam session until 6pm PST for anyone who would like to improvise!

Meeting ID: 820 1490 8204

Passcode: 965056

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Dial by your location

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Meeting ID: 820 1490 8204

Passcode: 965056

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbJvVKHhZc

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.

Modality Presents Sunday, May 2nd (FreeSessions + Racer Sessions = Zoom Sessions)

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/89904653148?pwd=MkREVnlhRWYwdmQ0SHZRM1h4bXVIdz09

Meeting ID: 899 0465 3148     Passcode: 878637

/ / /

Modality’s’s Blog Post:

The 4 members of Modality have been living in 3 different cities since
2013, and so we were veterans at playing telematically when the
pandemic hit. We’ve used several types of software and found that we
can write, practice, and even perform with relatively low latency.
Still, low latency is not zero latency, and it can be challenging to
hit marks at times. Our process has always involved harvesting and
developing musical ideas born from improvisations, and interestingly
the technology has yielded some happy accidents where we realize
listening back to a practice that the shift in timing adds something
more than playing it straight up and down. Much of our music moves
between beat driven, pop/rock-adjacent songs informed by electronic
and global rhythms, and more ambient, experimental sonic excursions
that rely on chance, improvisation, and technology. The performance we
are sharing with you is from the recent conference held by the Society
for Electro-Acoustic Music in the US (SEAMUS) and reflects this
duality of our approach, and features the benefits and limitations of
playing live over the internet.

In the session, we invite players to listen to the digital hiccups,
timing lags, and other issues we’ve all had with Zoom over the past
year as opportunities for creative expression and enjoyment, rather as
barriers to our expected norms for musical communication.

/ / /

Following Modality’s set, the organizers will facilitate an open jam session until 6pm PST for anyone who would like to improvise!

 

 

One tap mobile

+12532158782,,89904653148#,,,,*878637# US (Tacoma)

+13462487799,,89904653148#,,,,*878637# US (Houston)

Dial by your location

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 899 0465 3148

Passcode: 878637

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbeAmR4283

ZOOM AUDIO SETTINGS RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. TURN ON ORIGINAL SOUND! (details below)

2. 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

3. 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.

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

Ryan Beckley and Carmen Rothwell Present Sunday, February 7th (FreeSessions + Racer Sessions = Zoom Sessions)

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/85481988199?pwd=TzhjSVJ4QTVFdnc4QkpEdkdXNHNhQT09

Meeting ID: 854 8198 8199
Passcode: 784810

This month two long-time friends of the Racer Sessions, Ryan Beckley and Carmen Rothwell, will be presenting.

 

https://carmenrothwell.com/

https://screeband.bandcamp.com/

They have chosen to highlight this fundraiser as this month’s beneficiary:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/welcome-home-rodney-after-40-years

We encourage you to contribute if you are able!

Following Ryan and Carmen’s set, the organizers will facilitate an open jam session until 6pm PST for anyone who would like to improvise solo or with others.

One tap mobile
+12532158782,,85481988199#,,,,*784810# US (Tacoma)
+16699006833,,85481988199#,,,,*784810# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 854 8198 8199
Passcode: 784810
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbIP4GQxFf

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.

Cole Grant and Lhanna Writesel Present Sunday, January 3rd (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.

Meeting ID: 867 5640 7230
Passcode: 885690

Check out suggested Zoom settings below for optimal participation.

Cole’s Blog Post:

We’ve chosen to highlight the ACLU of Montana as this month’s beneficiary. Since 1972, they’ve consistently fought for the underserved and underrepresented in Big Sky Country. Learn more here – https://www.aclumontana.org/

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New Beginnings: An Improvisational Duet for Alto Sax and Bass Guitar

A fresh start. A breath of fresh air. Something different. We all need it.

Stress. Joy. Uncertainty. Light at the end of the tunnel. Unexpected bright spots. These are some of the emotions Lhanna Writesel and I will touch on during our improv.

We want to say goodbye to 2020, and conjure up as much positive energy as we can for the year ahead.

We will film Jan. 2nd, to capture the spirit of the new year, and premiere the next day.

///

Cole Grant is a Missoula, MT based bassist and composer. He is a member of the bands Transcendental Express and Red Onion Purple.

Lhanna Writesel is a Missoula, MT based saxophonist. She is a member of the indie rock/ hip hop band Letter B.

 

ZOOM AUDIO SETTINGS SUGGESTIONS

(these instructions are tailored to the latest version of Zoom)

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

Patrick Shiroishi presents Sunday, December 6th (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.

Check out suggested Zoom settings below for optimal participation.

Patrick’s Blog Post:

Since LA winters are not too bad, I recorded the set in my aunts backyard.  At this point of development/playing in quarantine, I am interested in trying to find different ways of expanding extended techniques for the horn.  Sam Newsome, who was featured as this year’s SIMF, does a fantastic job of doing this and is very inspirational during this “at home” time of listening and learning.

 

The organization that I’d like to donate to is Streetwatchers LA (https://streetwatchla.com/).  Homelessness has been increasing in LA and already up 13% percent since last year and projected to increase due to covid and the economy.  The organization’s goal is to build solidarity with other housing rights and police monitoring organizations in LA to pressure elected officials, property owners and city employees to immediately cease their inhumane treatment of low income and unhoused peoples.

 

 

Patrick Shiroishi is a Japanese-American multi-instrumentalist based in Los Angeles. He explores solo saxophone in acoustic and electronic settings, as well as in several improvising units. He leads an instrumental quintet Black Sun Sutra and collaborates in brutal prog unit Upsilon Acrux, Zeuhl Band Corima as well as the sax-drum duos in the Womb & Oort Smog. He has toured the United States as well as Europe. Shirioshi has also played at the Rock in Opposition festival alongside Magma.

 

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

Brian West presents Sunday March 3rd

The vast majority of the universe is empty space. The diameter of the Earth is just under 8000 miles, while the distance to Venus, our nearest planetary neighbor is at least 23 million miles. The scale of emptiness dwarfs the space occupied by solid ground by a factor of almost 3000. When considering the 3 dimensional volume that they occupy instead of just the linear distance, this disparity balloons to a factor of 50,000,000,000,000. That’s 50 trillion. In a cube-shaped space defined by the minimum distance from Earth to Venus, there is 50 trillion times as much empty space as the volume of the Earth. The distance between the sun and its nearest stellar neighbor is much larger, even in relations to the sun’s much greater size. The distance to Alpha Centauri is 30,000 times greater than the diameter of the sun. This vast emptiness repeats itself on every scale throughout the universe, the distances between planets, then between stars, then between galaxies rapidly growing so large that they can only be understood through metaphors. Everything we’ve ever experienced, everything we’ve ever heard or touched, every idea we’ve ever contemplated has all taken place on this one tiny island in an incomprehensibly vast sea. It is no wonder our minds are entirely unequipped to comprehend the distances between the stars, let alone between distant galaxies. We can try to grapple with this unnatural understanding by thinking that the light reaching us now from our nearest galactic neighbor left there two and a half million years ago. That light has been traveling across an empty void for more than ten times as long as the human race has existed. But even this metaphorical crutch suffers from the fatal weakness that light already travels so fast that it strains our ability to even conceive it.

The overwhelming emptiness of the universe even exists at the micro level. Not only are planets and stars and galaxies isolated islands in a sea of empty space, but even so called “solid matter” is composed almost entirely of empty space. Atoms are composed of a core of protons and neutrons, orbited by a cloud of electrons. Protons and neutrons occupy a tiny fraction of the space of the atom, while most of the space of the atom is filled by the fast moving cloud of electrons. But electrons make up almost none of the mass of the atom. They are so tiny they practically don’t exist, and certainly not as “solid matter”. It is only the repulsive force of negative against negative that keeps the atoms of your body from phasing through the atoms of the object you carry, the person you embrace or the very earth you stand on.

In such a universe, dominated on every scale by empty space, it’s no wonder that so many of us so often feel an overwhelming sense of emptiness. The human spirit is a vessel, and fulfilling experiences are called such precisely because they fill that vessel. But our cup has a hole in it, no matter how many fulfilling activities you’ve pursued in the past, they must be periodically pursued. Music, dance, poetry and other such activities must periodically refill the vessel, otherwise we feel ourselves returning to the emptiness from which we all come and to which we all return.

Photo cred Donal Lakatua

Ed Stalling & John Sporman present Sunday, April 8

The Seabag Letters

The canvas seabag went everywhere with my father during WWII. The place names
written on it tell their own story: Pearl Harbor, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, and
Kyusha Japan (Nagasaki). It sat in the corner of an attic for 60 years. Dad died,
mom moved to assisted living, we cleaned out the house and the seabag came with
me to Missoula. I didn’t know the empty ammo clip was in it until TSA saw it at the
Minneapolis airport. They detained me, emptied out the full contents, and called in
the head honcho. She asked me to explain the giant stack of old letters – all bundled
and tied with twine. The tough TSA woman said, “Now you’ve made me cry.” She
ordered the paperwork torn up and everything to be carefully placed back in the
bag, looked at me through tears and said, “These are so precious, my grandfather
was in WWII, get out of here and don’t say anything.”

All the letters written to dad from 1943 to 1951 are in that bag. Now, 75 years
later, I’m opening the letters from his father who’s on a ship in the Pacific; from his
brother writing from a foxhole on the front line in Italy; from an aunt back home on
her farm, and from girlfriends hoping the war is quickly over. One particularly
persistent writer is fifteen years old in her first letter and eighteen in her last. She
writes about how they’ll marry someday and name their first son Eddie Jr., which is
precisely what they do.

The writers share their experiences and thoughts: stories of tragedy, concern, love,
fear, daily life, and news of the day. They reminisce about good times from the past
and express hope for a better future. They hope that they will simply see each other
again someday.

John and I will use this session as an incubator for a larger project to tell these
stories. I want to hear how musicians across genres, genders, and ages react to the
stories and put them to sound. To kick it off, John Sporman and I will use my
father’s own reflections about his experiences in the war — especially about the first
wave of Iwo Jima — as creative triggers to freely improvise sound.

We’ll then create multiple small-group sessions – that’s you — and read excerpts
from the seabag letters. Together you’ll use those words as creative triggers to put
those stories – be it emotions, themes, concepts – into sound. We will record the
FreeSessions to use as ideas in a bigger project to come.

While you are welcome to just come and observe, the primary purpose of this
session is creation from a diverse group of musicians — so we encourage you to
come with your instruments, an open mind and heart, and most of all, your ears.

Bios
Drummer/Percussionist Ed Stalling moved to Missoula is 2006 from Minneapolis where he played with several jazz big bands and in over thirty musical-theater productions. You see him on stages all over the state with The John Floridis Trio, Ed Norton Big Band, Captain Wilson Conspiracy, Basement Boyz, Jim Driscoll Trio, Kimberlee Carlson, Joan Zen Jazz, and Contra Brasil. Inducted into the Missoula Blues and Jazz Society “Hall of Fame” in 2016, Ed likes to “gives back” by helping with all three local high schools jazz bands, and teaching out of his home studio.

John Sporman is a Missoula-based musician and composer. After studying music composition and technology at the University of Montana, John moved on to score over 30 silent movies, dance shows and theatrical productions. He has scored for The International Wildlife Film Festival, The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, The Bozeman Film Society, Bare Bait Dance, The Montana Repertory Theatre, MCT Community Theatre, Sunshine Unlimited, Viscosity Theatre and for an array of independent artists. John is currently working as a national touring musician.

Bill Kautz presents Sunday, January 7

I am very excited to be curating the 2nd FreeSessions on January 7th and particularly excited to perform my music with Christopher Gray (guitar), Steve Kalling (bass) and Naomi Siegel (trombone and keyboard). These individuals have been extremely open to exploring new territories with these compositions and I want to thank them right off the bat for their flexibility and trust in me leading this ensemble. They’ve been such a pleasure to create with.

We will be performing 3 pieces for you tonight titled Segmented, Sehnsucht and Where is Solitude. Two of these compositions were performed 3 and 5 years ago as part of The Racer Sessions and the IMP Fest in Seattle under different instrumentation. I have wanted to revisit these compositions with new musicians and in a completely new setting to see how I hear and approach things differently. A lot has happened for me since I first wrote these…most recently becoming a father, moving to Missoula, taking on a very new identity as a stay at home dad for my daughter and spending a lot more focused time on the trumpet than I have in many years.

What we will be playing for you is based heavily around open improvisation. However, each piece has a defined melody with corresponding chord changes which will set up the flavor for the improvisations that follow the melody. A very similar progression as performing jazz standards…melody, solos, and playing through the melody again to end the piece. However, we may or may not stick to the structure introduced with the melody. This is a very exciting aspect of performing these pieces as each time is a different experience.

 Every individual in this group has the equal amount of power to introduce a framework or deviate from a previously introduced framework during the improvisation sections. A specific instrument, such as the bass, does not need to just act like a “bass”…think of whatever that may mean to you! Everyone’s role in the performance is of equal importance and purpose, which is to create original music where everyone’s voice and ideas are heard.

An exciting thing about this ensemble is that every player has some unique musical niche where they spend the majority of their time performing or practicing. So when we open up and get free, it’s amazing to hear the blend of influences weave together. We all have our unique influences and sound. It has been a hope of mine that those influences can be embraced and amplified in this ensemble. I hope you can pick up on that when we perform.

For the improvisation section that follows, I would like to encourage every ensemble to conference briefly before performing to establish a place to start and finish. This can be as abstract as a word, feeling, color, number, etc or as specific as a defined key, scale, rhythmic figure, etc. Wherever you begin your performance, try to revisit that idea through all instruments represented while improvising. Come back to the original idea to play it verbatim, chop the heck out of it or expand upon it.  And resist the urge to only have melodic instruments or voices take the melody.

Thanks for reading. We’ll look forward to seeing you Sunday January 7th at 6pm.

-Bill Kautz

Naomi Siegel & The Missoula Conduction Experiment present Sunday, December 3

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.

Take risks

Play your truth and trust your voice

No fixing

Experience discomfort

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.

Inspiration:

Learn more about Conduction from Butch Morris himself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFdHksQedA8

 

Pauline Oliveros: Listening as Activism

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/listening-as-activism-the-sonic-meditations-of-pauline-oliveros

 

Conduction by Wayne Horvitz used in conjunction with written music.

 

 

Conduction by Tyshawn Sorey.