ABOUT MELBOURNE SOUND SCHOOL
Turn plants into musical instruments, turn light waves into sound waves, make music from code, make a synthesiser think it’s Mariah Carey – this is Melbourne Sound School. We’re a free school upskilling and celebrating people making electronic music from the margins. Our 2017 and 2018 programs were a huge success: initially a 100% self-funded and volunteer run project, we were awarded Best Experimental/Avante Garde Act in the 2017 Music Victoria Awards. In 2018 we went on to run 60 workshops at Footscray Community Arts Centre, Phoenix Youth Hub, Signal Arts, Artful Dodgers Studios, and other spaces across Melbourne.
Folks are hungry for high quality accessible electronic music education. As of 2011, only 7% of Ableton Live users identified as women. A 2015 Forbes list of the highest paid EDM (Electronic Dance Music) DJs are all male and mostly white. Other press celebrates the minority of white women at the forefront of electronic music, ignoring its black history. So many of electronic music's innovators were and are queer, people of colour, women or femme, or on low incomes – where would house, techno, and hip hop be without these communities? Let’s keep making music powerful and accessible for the next generation of creatives on the margins.Our 2018 program, awarded grants from the Australia Council and Maribyrnong Council, includes events at wheelchair accessible venues around Melbourne. Some are aimed specifically at youth, such as our programs at Signal Arts and Phoenix Youth Hub. Others are for noisemakers of all ages, including our upcoming workshop series at Footscray Community Arts Centre. These programs cover staple practices like Ableton and DJing, as well as new topics like live coding, circuit bending, synth building, DIY MIDI controllers, sampling, and more. We concentrate on skills that you don't need a ton of money or special gear for, and that participants can keep building on when they go home.
WHO WE ARE
Bridget Chappell is the founder of the Sound School, and coordinates the synthesizer program. The School is a continuation of her work as a sound activist with projects such as Sounds Queer?. She performs solo as Hextape, with post-punk band Fallow Ground, gabber DJ collective Floating 3 Stripe, and as a cellist with various ensembles. As a producer she has toured Australia, Europe, and south east Asia; she works as a sound engineer, coordinates the Melbourne Squat Orchestra, co-organises drain rave Vapor Noir, and is currently studying cello at the Melbourne Conservatorium. She spends most of her time hoping someone will bring up synthesizers so she can talk about them more.
Jonnine is our sound engineering series coordinator and graphic designer. They are an artist, musician and sound engineer. They have used various solo guises and played in countless groups over the last decade. In early 2018, they released a retrospective experimental solo album, Reflection Is Torture, under the name Horse Pills. They’re one half of industrial/darkwave duo Activities of Daily Living, and DJ across Melbourne as Hamburger Lady. Jonnine works as a live sound and lightning engineer, stage tech, and mixes and masters recordings for all manner of projects
Neil is our Ableton series coordinator. He is a track maker and DJ producing footwork, electronic and hip-hop. In 2018, he released his debut EP “Barrio Trax”, under his alias YUMGOD sampling 60s and 70s Filipino pop records. He is the producer for the the New Zealand based rap collective Fanau Spa and made his production debut on Coco Solid’s "COKES” Mixtape in 2017. He is part of the collective Tracks and Sound Volumes - TSV. WORLD
Marte is coordinating the Northside chapter of Sound School. While studying contemporary/jazz flute they picked up some sound production units alongside their regular classes, but soon realised they had to look outside of mainstream education and joined Sound School. Combined with a hand injury -which meant they had to stop playing flute- this led to a new journey into sound and electronic music.
PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS:
Sound School operates on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nations. We pay our respects to elders past, present, and future, and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.