My name is Will Stoskopf, of the Missoula psychedelic rock band Cosmic Sans, and for the next FreeSessions on April 2nd I will be accompanied by the members of local improvisational psychedelic group Sounds of Speciation, which includes guitarist Cooper Godfrey and percussionists Noah Glover and Carson Smith. I brought this ensemble together in an attempt to bridge conventional music and song structure with pure improvisational sound.
I’ve been combing through “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig lately, and an excerpt from it gave me some inspiration for the direction of this next FreeSessions. Most of the book is spent with the author attempting to understand the concept of “Quality” (capital Q), and one way he attempts to accomplish this is by imagining a world without Quality. “If we can show that a world without Quality functions abnormally, then we have shown that Quality exists, whether it’s defined or not.” Pirsig then imagines a world where Quality has been removed from the fine arts, and asserts that “there’s no point to symphonies, when scratches from the record or hum from the record player sound just as good.”
I struggled with this statement, especially since coming to FreeSessions, since in previous curations and ensembles noise of definite Quality arose from chaos and musical nonsense.
For my curation, I ask members to consider how the role of Quality in music and sound can be stretched beyond the role Robert Pirsig gave it. For my performance with Sounds of Speciation, we will be attempting to create a form of Quality through the intentional addition and subtraction of the conventional description of Quality.
This month I chose to highlight the Music Inclusion Coalition (MIC). MIC helps subsidize costs for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students for auditions, private music tutoring, and education application costs.