The programme is focussed on the use of ‘live’ instruments, such as electric guitar, synthesizer, DJ Decks, drum/percussion triggers, and laptops running Ableton Live software.
Although recording and mixing is a key part of the skills taught, the intention is to avoid a familiar scenario where workstations are used in isolation from the wider performing and musical activities. Creative song-writing, sampling, programming, and other genres of electronic music-making are encouraged within a context of shared activities such as rehearsals and performances.
The skills taught include sound processing and editing, sampling, control of ‘live’ music technology interfaces. They will be developed across a range of hardware that includes effects pedals, sound boards, computers, samplers, and loopers. Participants will develop skills on music technology instruments, using skills appropriate to those instruments. So, the focus is on understanding and expressing musical ideas through the use of music technology, with other techniques, such as reading and writing musical notation being integrated where necessary.
The ‘live’ aspect of the sessions means that musicians who are focussed on music technologies to create and perform their ideas, will also be able to integrate into other musical activities and ensembles. So that someone learning about an electronic instrument could also play as part of a jazz ensemble, or a perform on a laptop with a string ensemble.
Creative music-making is a part of working with new music technologies, so there is a focus on compositional skills to work alongside performing and programming skills.
The programme avoids the use of expensive software and equipment, and promotes the integration of tested software, such as Audacity, Ocenaudio, Reaper, and Pure Data. More established software, such as Logic, Cubase and MaxMSP are also in the mix of technologies that can be used.