Thursday 7 February 2013

Preparing music for a Tedx event: a music teacher´s diary, Part nine

Update on 2 February: step by step
The Content Group has been meeting and we seem to have a more or less fixed programme for our mid March event. I signed off in December with a proposal to initiate 3 actions: a video link up/web jam, an audio installation and a large scale musical piece to be created for the event.
Now that plans have been finalized I am glad to say that my original proposal has survived almost intact from germ idea to the outline programme.
To take them one at a time: the web jam is going ahead, thanks to a great response from friends and colleagues in London, as I noted in the last update. Year 10 students will feature in a leadership role. Now that we have the organizational aspects confirmed we can get down to the business of setting out our musical framework. The key feature is a live interaction between students in different countries with music as the common language.
The interactive audio installation is becoming a reality too. My colleague Dan Horwood has started trying out light sensors and he will work with students to start selecting the sounds to be included in the installation. We expect there to be a selection of samples ranging from vocal sounds to street noise to dub step and other dj beats. The question of the physical location of the sensors remains to be decided, but we are looking at mounting them between plexi-glass sheets to be laid on the floor, thanks to an inspired suggestion from colleague J.
Dan is uniquely prepared to lead the interactive audio installation because he is both a musician and a tec expert. Not only that, but in his native Australia Dan worked on interactive installations. I can’t wait to see the result in March.
The large scale composition is being subsumed into another item: there was a group of very enthusiastic students keen to perform a dance. Instead of them performing to a pop song playback we have convinced them to be part of a dance & music piece which they will help to create, working with other students who will play the music. As the dancers have already prepared most of the choreography, the tempo and structure of the new piece will be based on those of the pop song they were using, but the rest will be original, and should involve dancers and instrumentalists with each other and with the dance and music, both as creators and performers.
More details to follow. Six weeks to go….

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