For my curation on Sunday, I will be leading an open workshop on Conduction. Requirements to participate: basic proficiency on instrument, be ready to play by 7pm (so come early to set up), a willingness and openness to listen, experiment and support the larger ensemble/community. All are welcome to be in the audience
Conduction is a method developed by Butch Morris in the 1980s. He described it as “a vocabulary of ideographic signs and gestures activated to modify or construct a real-time musical arrangement or composition.” Check out the videos below about Butch Morris and Conduction. There is also a great documentary about Butch Morris available on Kanopy.com entitled Black February.
I find Conduction to be an incredible music-making tool to bring together musicians from various backgrounds while exploring new sonic territories. This is central to the mission of the FreeSessions – creating a space for Missoula musicians to connect, listen, collaborate, and experiment across scenes and genres. The FreeSessions aims to be an incubation ground for new projects and new sounds. It is a place to improvise and explore ideas, a place to take on new roles as a musician instead of sticking to what is conventional, a place to transcend genre norms, and foster a supportive, listening community. I am grateful to have learned Conduction from Wayne Horvitz who learned from Butch Morris.
After the curated portion of the evening, we will open up the floor for group improvisations. Each group will use verbal prompts as a theme for inspiration for their improvisation. These prompts will serve as a catalyst to assist the musicians in breaking out of our usual patterns of playing.
In recognition of the profound and essential influence of Black music in our music world and the systemic racism that we face as a country, the FreeSessions donates 20% of our proceeds to a Black organization every month. We invite you to join us in this donation. This month we are donating to the HBCU Jazz Education Initiative, which is a national coalition dedicated to ensuring the future sustainability of jazz education in America’s HBCUs. Learn more and donate here: https://gofund.me/3425156f