Soulful Summer

Just completed a week of workshops for THSH and UFA, project was called Soulful summer.
I helped facilitate sessions based mainly on developing young people’s composition skills. I was blown away by the young people’s ideas and good vibes. Some of the feedback I got was great, and was nice to see some of the younger participants’ confidence really grow!

Here’s some audio:

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Safari Life: written in a day, based on a drum ostinato played in an improvised ostinato exercise I always use.

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Our version of Summer Time, I led the rhythm section, or they led me lol! Huw lead horns, Shereece led the singers.

Thanks to Katy G and Jan P for their assistance and support!

………….Only a few more days to go before I get some time off to develop my own creativity, yay!

Happy Work Pit

The pic above sums it up, I’ve been in a dark room, staring at and playing synths for the last few days, yup, I asked for it and it’s happened, snowed under with work, I’ve even turned down a few projects!! I know!?! The other day I was bemoaning the hustle!

Loads of established freelancers advised me that 3 years is what it takes, and they were right! I do hope I won’t be eating humble pie next term, what with this new government, I saw little on the Tory manifesto about arts and culture funding, gulp!

Anyroad, I’ve been workshopping loads, composing and playing synth for an experimental music project, a fusion of dubstep, asian sounds and percussion. The biggest challenge has been learning the MIDI parts, being in time with machine, you can’t make eye contact with Ableton Live, but you can with the person triggering it I suppose.

I also had loads of fun writing songs and creating pieces for Birmingham Jazz’s Creative Jam sessions, my favourite piece was in a 5/4 time signature, nice and funky. You can check iPhone footage here:

Here is the 5/4 piece.

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Pics from Down Your Way last Saturday

Here are some pics from last Saturday’s session. We had some Global Xchange volunteers from Morocco participate and it was quite contrasting to the smaller numbers we’ve had in the past. Chris led the session, and recorded sound bites about childhood memories – short phrases were the stimuli for music making and composition. We wrote pieces exploring the feeling of completing a long day at school  – joy, excitement, need I say more!?!

There was lots of translating and merriment had!!

Hustlin’

The summer term is always quieter work wise. I have been hustling the last few weeks; consequently promotional skills have improved.

2 projects I am excited to be working on are with CBSO Education where composition and creativity are based around Holst’s ‘The Planets’, the second is for THSH’s ‘Pipe Up’ project pivoted around cathedral organs.

During this quieter period I have been networking quite a fair bit, reading about developments in the community music sector and brushing up on my marketing skills.

In an earlier blog post I wrote how working as a part-time teacher would give me further insight into the world of formal education and help me decide whether to do a PGCE.

I suppose applying for the MediaSnackers’ trainer position is pretty much the biggest indicator of my decision not to be a full-time music teacher. I choose community musicianhood!

I really enjoy teaching my students, but I prefer the level of interaction I get working with smaller groups and being able to teach topics that I am passionate about and enjoy. One of several perks has been teaching keystage 4 and 5: individuals who realise the importance of music and are motivated. I had such a blast learning dance steps with students, from pavan and galliard to disco!!

I managed to get some friends into blogging; a pilates instructor and promoter/DJ/producer/cycle enthusiast chum. I was astounded by how keen and quickly they took to it. Why don’t you say ‘Hi!”

My blog has been recommended by the Music Manifesto website!! How cool is that!?!

Lastly, please click for an adventure in exploiting and bullying from Surface Unsigned Festival! In my opinion forcing bands to sell a set number of tickets in order to perform is manipulative, they have also tried to silence the peeps at Created in Birmingham! Tut tut!

Power to the blogging community! May we continue to scrutinise and encourage democracy! (Well maybe let’s not survey all my typos)!!