The FreeSessions by Lakebottom Sound
First Sundays at Imagine Nation Brewing Company
6:00 - 8:00pm

The FreeSessions is an improvised music jam session to promote collaboration amongst musicians in Missoula across genres and ages. Our aim is to cultivate a healthy musical eco-system in Missoula. We are fostering a climate of improvisation, transcending musical styles and structures. This session is to encourage active listening among all participants and a full acceptance of all musicians. It is a place to grow your musicality and yourself.

The FreeSessions is an incubation ground for new musical projects and collaborations. Every month a curator presents a new piece of music or concept or improvisation for the first 30 minutes.

The FreeSessions occur on the first Sunday of the month at Imagine Nation Brewing Company.

How it works:

Following the curator’s presentation, participants are invited to be a part of group improvisations throughout the rest of the evening. To participate, please sign up upon arrival. Session facilitators will help arrange groups. The curator may or may not set a theme to guide the improvisations.

We encourage participants to read the curator’s blog post prior to the session.

Noelle Huser and Koby Silverman present Sunday, April 7

Koby and Noelle’s Sunday Postal Service

7th, 2019

US postal service does not deliver on Sunday. Oh NOOO!!! How will you communicate with your loved ones?

with us on Sunday, meet your new pen pal and exchange your inner messages with an instrument.


expression can describe emotions that can be expressed no other way. This Sunday, we exercise our empathy, absorbing and articulating nonverbal energy and finding fluid conversation.

in touch with your emotions…

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

Caroline Keys presents Sunday, February 3

FreeSessions: SoupHerBowl Sunday AKA SuperbHole Sunday
February 3rd, 2019
Curated by Caroline Keys

Caroline Keys curates Lakebottom Sound’s February 2019 FreeSessions. The event will take place during Superbowl LII. The theme of the evening will be SoupHerBowl Sunday AKA SuperbHole Sunday.

During the presentation portion of the evening I will ask for group participation in order to brainstorm elements of the championship football game, it’s rules, equipment, traditions, and emotions. Any respectful, compassionate term “in the key of Superbowl” will be fair game to be included in the brainstorming session. Ie: anything from scrimmage lines to referees, from Janet Jackson to nacho cheese works.

Out of the group’s brainstorming session I will assemble as many sets of constraints as we have sets of improv duos in the room. Each duo will receive a group-generated prompt/constraint that will inform their improvisation. Brainstorm session takes place at 6pm, improv begins at 6:30. Duos may consist of participants working with sound, movement, visual media, words, light, flavor, vibration.

SoupHerBowl Sunday
SuperbHole Sunday
will deconstruct, reorganize, and perhaps feminize your Superbowl experience.

Tricia Opstad presents Sunday, January 6

My work is an essential desire for creating experiences in my life that have significance, meaning, depth, clear listening, communication through alternate means, entering into a shared space and time where we don’t know what will happen, an experiment, and an adventure with each other that has possibility and results in change, connection and trust.

Dance Improvisation involves paying attention to a somatic state. Somatics is defined as a dancer’s close attention to proprioceptive information about the position and motion of each part of the body and techniques whose primary focus is the dancer’s personal, physical experience, rather than the audience’s visual one.

Dance Improvisation also includes making work in front of an audience in performance. The Six Viewpoints as described and developed by Mary Overlie are a guide or map for making material that consider audience perspective. The components of The Six Viewpoints are as follows: Shape, Space, Time, Emotion, Movement and Story (SSTEMS). My work falls under a postmodern umbrella where the stage is there to enact microscopic interrogation of our physical, mental and emotional world.

The project created for LakeBottom’s FreeSessions, titled ‘Bubbla: How to Animal’, involves a three part dynamic. ‘Bubbla’ is a self declared and created search engine platform for asking ‘How To’ questions from the work.

1) I want to develop, practice and use The Six Viewpoints with collaborating dancers and musicians to inform improvisation performance.

2) When I create something, I sometimes experience hesitation and question myself. I worry that I don’t know how to do something even though I do. So, I took this act of ‘questioning’ and put it into the work by asking ‘How To’ questions of an unusual nature. And through these questions, I allow for answers to come through the body in the dance improvisation work. This unknown space is alive in improvisation.

3) Finally, I want to propose and consider that our bodies are the most sophisticated and advanced technology to date. With the information and technological age, came more state of the art computers, phones and devices, not to mention more ways to connect and find out anything we wanted to know. I often find myself caught up in this wave and seduced by its wonder. I want to continue to alter the paradigm and experience this same if not a pure taste of wonder with improvisation dance and performance with other artists. I want to remember to ask myself, ask within and ask my body the questions rather than search for it outside of myself.

FreeSessions at First Night (12.31.18) at The Dana Gallery

Schedule of events:
7-7:30 – Missoula Conduction Orchestra directed by Naomi Siegel
7:40-8:20 – Improvised Jam Session
8:25-8:55 – Michael Musick Presentation
9:00-9:30 – Improvised Jam Session
9:30-10pm – natalita Presentation

Jenni Long presents Sunday, December 2

Jenni Long will be joined by Molly and Brian.

That pleasure which is at once the most intense, the most
elevating, and the most pure is, I believe, found in the
contemplation of the beautiful. When, indeed, men speak
of Beauty, they mean, precisely, not a quality, as is
supposed, but an effect—they refer, in short, just to that
intense and pure elevation of soul—not of intellect, or of
heart (…)”
– Edgar Allen Poe – The Philosophy of Composition

Your whole body… is nothing more than a thought itself, in
a form you can see. Break the chains of your thought, and
you break the chains of your body, too…

Freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever
stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual
or superstition or limitation in any form.
– Richard Bach- Jonathan Livingston Seagull

At all times remember to imagine a beautiful sound. Keep
your energy up but never tense. Move that energized air
through your sound.

Your mind cannot be aware of what your fingers are doing.
The mind is in the sound and allows what is going to
happen to you, without conscious thought.
– Bill Adam

natalita presents Sunday, November 4


natalita is a multi- media artist; manipulating sound, body, and imagery to tell the stories of terrain and ritual. Her work is rooted in improvisation, meditation, experimentation and collaboration.

Justin Matousek presents Sunday, October 7

its all music – duke ellington

artists can do whatever they want! – marina abramovic

ill play it first and tell you what its called later – miles davis

what we play, is life – louie armstrong

i am the sum total of everything i have experienced musically – hank jones

find things beautiful as much as you can, most people find too little beautiful – vincent van gogh

if only we try to live sincerely, it will go well with us, even though we are certain to experience real sorrow, and great disappointments, and also will probably commit great faults and do wrong things, but it certainly is true, that it is better to be high-spirited, even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent. it is good to lovemany things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love, is well done – vincent van gogh

..the best way to know god is to love many things. love a friend, a wife, something, whatever you like.. .but one must love with a lofty and serious intimate sympathy, with strength, with intelligence… that leads to god, that leads to unwavering faith.. .to give you an example: someone loves rembrandt, but seriously, – that man will know that there is a god, he will surely believe it.. .to try to understand the real significance, of what the great artists, the serious masters, tell us in their masterpieces, that leads to god.. – vincent van gogh

draw a straight line and follow it – la monte young

do not be afraid of being wrong; just be afraid of being uninteresting – t. carl whitmer

do not fear mistakes. there are none. – miles davis

don’t play the saxophone. let it play you. – charlie parker

music, for me, has always been a place where anything is possible – a refuge, a magical world where anyone can go, where all kinds of people can come together, and anything can happen. we are limited only by our imaginations. – bill frisell

seemed to me that drumming was the best way to get close to god. – lionel hampton

the reward for playing jazz is playing jazz. – john lewis

the spirit of jazz is the spirit of openness. – herbie hancock

there is no such thing as a wrong note. – art tatum

when people believe in boundaries, they become part of them. – don cherry

mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. never try to correct them. on the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. after that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.”

 salvador dali

so little of what could happen does happen.”

 salvador dalí

keep a thing happenin’ all throughout – john coltrane

y e s – yoko ono

i have nothing to say/ and i am saying it/ and that is poetry/ as i need it. – john cage

walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears – pauline oliveros

you know, you don’t see with your eyes

you see with your brain

and the more words your brain has

the more things you can see – krs one

anybody can play. the note is only 20 percent. the attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent – miles davis

no good art no bad art butterfly wings make wind makes oceans move makes mountains smooth vibration is sound sound is vibration brain bursts turn physical to move fingers and windpipes to move minds to move air to move mountains and oceans but process over product no statement but creation practice doesn’t exist sound is vibration is sound molecules always move



Emily Silks presents Sunday, September 2

FreeSessions: September 2nd

A place for intentional listening


Observe Gratitude


The wind is insanely sharp tonight. Insanely sharp. Our invisible, tangible, undeniably real bodies sit proper and listen.


Fine cutting, silver bladed scissors, right? Like, that must be us, we just cut into time no matter what it seems like.

It seems like.

It seems like.


It seems like I’m meaning much of something I think. I think, I mean, the wind, it just howls and I need to say something.


Free sessions, free. Free, anything, all of it. All of it, really. What’s that mean?


Anything, anything, really. So there, it’s beautiful. Right? It’s beautiful.


It’s beautiful. (It’s beautiful) We live on the cutting edge and here it all is.

Observe Choice


What do you want?

A cardinal, a songbird, a fundamental?

All of it, any of it?

It’s up there – it’s a winged treasure, a cherished happening.

Take it sincerely. Hold dear the gift of witnessing.

All of it – anything, say what you want.


Observe Potential


So it’s like when I first saw you.

Like, actually saw you.

I listened with my eyes and ears and hands and feet.


My choices were informed by yours,

There we were,

On the cutting edge,

Saying something.


The first time I heard sound,

It was a waking up – a breaking of a silent fast.


We share an endless potential.

We inform each other.

(not just us, but any body or group)


Our musical voices have endless potential.

Lhanna Writesel & Paxton Marler present Sunday, August 5

In this month’s FreeSessions, we will explore the boundaries between language and art. Below are our individual interpretations of this concept:

In Lhanna’s Words:

Art, in its many forms, facilitates human connection and communication in ways that language cannot. Those who struggle to communicate with others through language can connect through art.
Group improvisation is one avenue that can lead to a heightened perception of those around us. Each sound offered by the individual contributes to the overall sound of the group, creating a breeding ground for a different type of communication.

In Paxton’s Words:

Art is a medium for expressing the beauty and nature of everything. It is a medium that bridges the gap of what can and cannot be conveyed through words. While words emit the consciousness of one thing, sight emits another, sound emits another, smell emits another.
One human is a medium for their perceived world. Another human is a medium for another perceived world. Another is another is another. Together, we create a new story and a new understanding. Art is a medium for expressing the beauty and nature of everything.

In Emily’s Words:

For us, music allows for a more fulfilling mode of expression than the spoken word alone. We communicate and speak from a place much different than language. Our dialogue is not confined to the boundaries inherent to language and it lacks concrete definitions found in the spoken word. Because of this, the musical mode of expression and communication speaks truly and perhaps more directly from our life experiences. In this way, exploring space and sound with others provides us a revitalizing way to speak, grow, and learn.

This is only one interpretation of the broad concept we would like to explore. It is our hope that we can further explore what this idea has to offer through the music we will all share during the FreeSessions.