TI:ME Free Online Symposium is Happening NOW

TI:ME Members and non-members alike can logon to check out our free Symposium on Music Tech Pedagogy that is happening right now.  I’ll be speaking at 3:00pm EDT about the types of projects I like to teach and the methods I use to teach composition to kids with little or no music experience.

I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of this – it’s an honor to be in such great company.  A quick rundown of the participants today:

Jay Dorfman – TI:ME’s national president and all around great guy from Boston U.

Mike Medvinsky – a former electrical engineer turned music teacher, who has in middle school kids making some cool things and really maker-faire kind of stuff

Bill Bauer – Bill used to serve on the Ohio TI:ME board before moving to sunny FL.  He’s one of the smartest and most earnest people in the field, and his research into music learning methods in the digital age are second to none.

The other two speakers, Chris and Adam, I don’t know as well but I wouldn’t be surprised if their accomplishments are right up there with the others.  Be sure to log on today to check out what’s going on right now in our field.

LHS Music Tech Promo video

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a nice video outlining what I actually do at Lebanon High School.  Many people do not realize that I only teach Music Tech.  There is no band or choir or guitar class that I cover.  We have one of the only programs in the country with the participation levels to warrant such an arrangement.

My course track is unique too.  There are few college paths purely related to Music Tech.  In 2014, you still cannot get a Music Education degree with technology as your concentration.  Most widely regarded programs are at the Masters or Doctoral level.  Thus, the sequence of curriculum leads to a wider media production standpoint, allowing students to explore fields like broadcasting, theatre production, or apply the tech to a traditional music degree.  Many students use the experience to bolster their applications to undergrad programs like these.  Some will go into a related media field such as film production.  Other students will just graduate and fly off to LA to become famous.  Either way, I feel like we have tapped into a totally different kind of track than what I see happening at other schools – one that others, such as the CCM E-Media program and the NKU Electronic Media program are also serving.

But don’t trust me.  Let the students speak for themselves:

I’ll also be speaking about my program at the TI:ME Online Symposium this Monday at 3pm EDT, if you are interested in learning more about Music Tech & Media Production at Lebanon HS.  It’s free for TI:ME members, and easy to register for through the website.

DJ Shadow – Ghost Town

This is the kind of music people like me have been waiting for since the early 2000’s. Lucky for Shadow, things have started to swing back toward the chilled out, sample-heavy style lately. Ghost Town is a great companion piece to the stuff coming out of Hyperdub and other people like Kuhn (no relation).

Bonus: DJ Shadow also has his own label now, Liquid Amber

Hyperdub 10.1

Got my hands on this great compilation today.  If you want a handle on where earnest electronic music is headed outside of the club bangers and brostep, this is required listening.

From the Pitchfork review:

Dance music label comps serve a dual purpose: 1) provide an accessible way for non-collectors to obtain material that might’ve received limited release; 2) offer labels a way to define their legacy or current position in the music landscape. 10.1 fulfills the first function simply by existing, and effectively flips two middle fingers towards the second.

Very true.  My only gripe is that Laurel Halo isn’t on this compilation – big omission in my books.

For me, Hyperdub and Ghostly are filling the void that Astralwerks and Warp did in the 90’s – releasing truly innovative new music, signing singularly unique artists, and forgetting the rest.

DJ Rashad – Let it Go

Hello – I’m back after an extended absence involving a big project I’ll be taking the wraps off of soon.

In the meantime, enjoy some DJ Rashad – respectfully posted after his sudden and tragic death last month.  I just discovered Double Cup in January, and his posthumous work is being featured on Hyperdub 10.1, which I can’t wait to get my hands on.

 

Music Research: Drum and Bass beat detection at McGill

Who says music researchers are stodgy?  Some interesting new research going on at McGill that could someday work to improve beat detection in all kinds of music software:

An essential first step in understanding how various producers uniquely use percussion, melody, and harmony in their tracks is downbeat detection (to find the first beat of every measure). We’ve developed a style-specific method of downbeat detection catered to Hardcore, Jungle, and Drum and Bass (HJDB) by combining multiple forms of metrical information: low-frequency onset detection; beat tracking; and a regression model (SVR) trained on the timbre and sequence order of breakbeats. In a recent evaluation using 206 HJDB tracks, we demonstrate superior accuracy of our style-specific method over four general downbeat detection algorithms (including two commercial algorithms).

Read the rest at Breakscience.

▶ Listen: Porter Robinson’s Set from Ultra

Porter Robinson, the OWSLA-signed wunderkind who was at one point a student of my TI:ME friend Matthew Etherington brings some hard hitting EDM music from his set at the ULTRA music festival with a lot of attention paid to the little details.  Can’t wait for a proper release of these tracks: