O how I love to be inspired and enchanted when working as a creative facilitator specialising in music technology with Primary school children. Their clever, creative and wonderful not-too-conditioned-yet minds seem to love to learning about and appreciating the magic of music as well as making it.

In partnership with One Education Music, I have designed and deliver 6 week Music Technology and Music Production courses with Years 4, 5 & 6 (aged 8-11) in schools in Greater Manchester.

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Though I do not condone the unethical manufacturing methods of Apple, this project does employ the relatively inexpensive and rather expansive Garageband on ipad app. It has proved to be accessible for just getting stuck in with creating music and also empowering enough as it covers most of the fundamentals of music production, composition, arranging and audio engineering by allowing an introduction to programming and editing loops, sampling and recording sounds, the sometimes ever so useful quantisation (cleaning up timing issues, a prevalent tool in making electronic music) and expression such as velocity (how hard you play an instrument/sound).

Taking the iconic original Dr Who Theme realised by the late great Delia Derbyshire as a starting point, the kids then create their own themes in teams, documenting the process in handmade project notebooks. They choose their own title and cover art.

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Hooray for music technology now apparently being part of the National Curriculum at Primary level I say – music making involves so many technical, creative, academic and social skills and enriches education and brain development in general it has been said. And that other aspect of social and cultural stereo-typing in music and technology may just be blurred a little tincey wincey bit with increased visibility and accessibility for our future male and female music producers?

New Islington MusicTech cover3 MJ sax

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O how I love how accessible music technology can be – deleting barriers and expanding sonic landscapes. As part of my creative facilitator duties, I have been working on this project designed and delivered by Drake Music North West.

Three disabled musicians using music technology and covering the sound worlds of Soca, drum n bass/EDM and alt-folk have remixed a track by Manchester spiritual jazz musician Matt Halsall. Ableton has come in most handy what with its midi mapping, triggering accessibility and general funk at the touch of an individual’s preferred button.

We will start the FREE event on MONDAY 23 FEB at STUN theatre, Z-Arts in Hulme, Manchester with an ensemble of all of us jamming around 2 tracks by Matt. Followed by performances by the three dynamic and dedicated participants including a small introduction de-mystifying their creative process and unpacking the technical chain of events.

COME along if u can, be INSPIRED :-)

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Gratitude for having an Arts Council so a new live electronic music performance can emerge

January 23, 2015

Well what a lucky pixie I am. The Arts Council of England have opted to support my somewhat wayward endeavours again. And how grateful I am.
So, what follows is research and development of a new live performance with new, already pretty much created music centred around found sounds, my voice and me playing piano badly. [...]

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Electro-Brass Recording now available: Electronic music meets Brass Music

December 2, 2014

We have now completed the recording, mixing and mastering of a new piece of creative music that myself and Eve Harrison (Manchester based trumpeter, classical composer) produced and performed for Durham Brass Festival 2014.
Electro-Brass was a commission by Durham Brass Festival through their Brass:Pitch commission series which looks at fresh perspectives on Brass Music. [...]

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Art and kindness – can music affect social change?

October 28, 2014

“People United believes that the arts and culture have a powerful and unique role to play in bringing about social change”
As you may know my last album Til You’re No Longer Blinkered had behind it a concept of self-knowledge and self-compassion in the aim of connecting with self and others for a happier [...]

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Ada Lovelace Day 2014 – A celebration of Women in STEM at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London

August 13, 2014

Well, you may have heard of Delia Derbyshire Day, and there is also an Ada Lovelace Day which takes place at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London on TUES OCT 14th 2014.

Who is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)? Only the woman who is said to have written the first computer programme and was instrumental in [...]

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Electro-Brass at Durham Brass Festival 2014: electronic music meets brass music!

July 2, 2014

Excited to announce a new piece of music that myself and Eve Harrison (trumpeter, classical composer) have come up with for Durham Brass Festival 2014 which takes place in July.
Electro-Brass is a commission by Durham Brass Festival through their Brass:Pitch commission series which looks at fresh perspectives on Brass Music. Given my love of [...]

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I’m doing the Great North Swim 2014!

May 6, 2014

So, I am officially a little bit crazy. After all them years in pain that I have now been somewhat liberated from, I am now going looking for adversity. I am doing the Great North Swim 2014 on 14 June at Lake Windermere – yes it is the one that Davina MacColl did and nearly [...]

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Delia Derbyshire Day 2014 – Manchester and now on tour in England

March 31, 2014

Following on from the glowing success of Delia Derbyshire Day 2013, DD Day 2014 took place on SAT 12 APRIL at The Anthony Burgess Foundation here in Manchester UK. Nice that we had another full house and warm audience for our event honouring one of the pioneering women in electronic music whose fascinating archive happens [...]

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Recent random rarities – sound tourism, breaking glass and experimental music school

March 10, 2014

As spring finally springs over here, I wanted to share a couple of candid random rarities I have happened across recently.
Sound tourism – Prof Trevor Cox’s Sonic Wonders
As part of the University of Manchester’s Cafe Scientifique series, I thoroughly enjoyed a suitably wondrous talk by Professor Trevor Cox about his Sonic Wonders- a website and [...]

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