WINTER 2017 PILOT
Our pilot program, the Winter Sound School, ran from June-September 2017 at Hotshots in Footscray. The weekly workshop series was a huge success, engaging over 200 participants in topics like synthesizers, Ableton, circuit bending, techno, home recording, sampling, DJing, and more. A community grew as many participants returned throughout the semester and built on their skills. The program showcased 14 artists from the Melbourne electronic music scene as facilitators, and was run on volunteer and in-kind contributions alone.
What is a synth & what bearing does it have on my reality? This workshop, composed of a series of autonomous workstations, assumes that everybody wants to play with synthesizers but doesn’t have enough opportunities to do it. Bridget Chappell (Hextape), gives participants a quick run-through of both the common parts you'll find on most synths and their signal flow, and some of the uncelebrated heroines of synth history. Participants are then free to explore each set up and find which one speaks to them the most.
How to navigate the gear that produces our sounds? Few arms of music technology are more safeguarded by men than live sound engineering. In this workshop, Laura Landsdowne (Tactical Attack) takes participants through how a sound system works, and how to make it work for you.
So much of our favourite music is made in a bedroom, a bed, a shed, and other small spaces. What tools do we already have available to us to make amazing recordings at home? Nick Carson (Slumber Kitty) demystifies the practice
So much of the music we love is made up of samples – little bits taken from other music or recordings, then cut up & bent to one’s will. How can you start using samples, & why are they so much fun? Do they even have to sound anything like the original? What do you use to collect & manipulate them? Fjorn (Papaphilia https://soundcloud.com/opsv) and Makeda (Makeda https://soundcloud.com/alldaybreakfast) talk us through their practice, set-up, and philosophies of sampling, and invite participants to play for themselves.
This workshop introduces the instantly-gratifying world of beatmaking in Ableton. Neil Cabatingan (Yumgod) guides participants through the drum rack and Ableton's on-board drum kits, using them to build beats on the grid, applying effects, and how to layer and trigger beats.
Circuit-bending: the liberating art of physically re-routing electrical instruments' signals, taking their sounds to strange new places. Traditionally done on cheap keyboards, kids musical toys, noise machines, and any instrument not expensive or sentimental enough to worry about breaking, this practice lets you take complete control of your gear. Audio-visual artist Laura Davis (Infraghosts) provides participants with an array of toys to deconstruct and re-route
Have you spent hours cracking the Ableton download but don’t know what to do next? Sick of watching YouTube videos of boring people who take 10 minutes to tell you anything at all?
In this workshop Geryon takes participants from looking puzzled at the Ableton screen to having the skills to start becoming the rockdog electronic producer that they always dreamed of being.
In this workshop DJ Raving Private Ryan (https://soundcloud.com/michael-skinner-828592774) introduces DJing through the lens of its queer, black and brown origins. Participants are guided through the basics of Virtual DJ and CDJs, and the practicalities of setting up your own parties
Do you want find ‘your voice’ in the music you write? Do you want to learn about harmony & melody? Do you want to understand more about sound & instrumentation, what makes different instruments & sound sources distinct from one another, & how to find your own tones & textures to use in music? Astrid& deconstructs these concepts to use as tools for experimentation, instead of rules that stifle creative process.
What's a loop pedal & why would I use one? What's the difference between distortion, fuzz, & overdrive? Are guitar pedals just for guitars? Can I take one apart & mess with it? Why are they so expensive? Can I make my own? What do you mean I have some in my computer already?
Bridget Chappell (Hex Tape) and Nick Carson (Slumber Kitty) dive deep into the world of effects and loops to show participants how to take simple sounds from anywhere, layer them, change them, and bend them to your will.
The final workshop enters the yummy dank world of hardware techno. Unravelling its histories, techniques & orthodoxies are Melbourne artists Nina Buchanan & Alex Cuffe (TTSKTLS).
Techno captures the imagination like few other electronic genres: from its birth in the POC club scene of Detroit to Berlin minimalism to afrofuturism & queer dance floors the world round. Nina & Alex give participants an insider's look at their set-ups, explore different combinations of & approaches to gear, & how to harness the power of tekkerz as a jumping off point to other worlds of composition.