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Composition and Digital Media

This session is designed to introduce students to the realm of digital technology and its boundless opportunities for creation and improvisation. Students will be invited to freely explore and create sounds, melodies and patterns by using simple non-notational music software to represent their musical ideas.

Sessions will introduce students to using microphones and computers to process musical instruments live. Students will record the results and arrange the recorded improvisations to be part of further live performance.

While improvising, the students will use effects including reverb, delay, pitch-shifting, vocoding and looping, and are encouraged to adapt and expand their musical creativity to the subtle and radical changes these effects make to the sound of their instruments. The improvisations are recorded and re-incorporated into further improvisation over the course of the sessions.

The students will learn about microphone use and basic audio theory. The two audio software applications used are Ableton Live and Audacity. The powerful open-source audio application Audacity allows for audio editing, manipulation, and has a simple graphic interface. The resulting recordings are made available to the students for their own experimentation and creativity will be made available to students who can use Audacity to edit and remix their improvisations. Audacity is available for free on both Mac and PC platforms.  http://audacityteam.org/

The emphasis of the Composition and Digital Media session is on storytelling and emotion. What does this sound like? How does it make you feel? What kind of story does it tell? Through this exploration we can expand young musicians’ horizons into the artistic possibilities of composition and to nurture creative expression.