Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Northern New-Wave

As part of my residency, I also led weekly music and sound art workshops, during which youths between age 13 and 16 were taught outdoor field recording techniques. Each youth was given their own digital audio recorder (H2 or MiniDisc) as I wanted them to document their own interpretations of their sonic environments. They learnt how to import these field recordings onto a computer and perform basic editing and processing. I wanted to convince them that musical sounds are hidden all around us and that active listening is required to appreciate them. I've included portions of the kids' field recordings in my sound installation Soundscapes of Inukjuak so as to juxtapose their sonic perceptions with those of his own.

Here's a stereo-mixdown excerpt from my installation. All the sounds heard in this sample were recorded by the kids.

We also started our own band. The kids learnt the basics of guitar, drum, and synthesizer playing. I exposed them to older bands whom they had never heard of like Bad Brains, Neu! or even Jimi Hendrix. I was trying to teach them about artists who experimented with the inherent properties of sound, not always concerned with melody or harmony.

We also created a few original songs. Below is a video clip of us rehearsing "Hudson Bay Rap". It's hard to hear Noah rapping on this recording, but he wrote his own rhymes in both Inuttiut and English. This jam definitely had a BodyCount / Public Enemy vibe going on. Tommy is the one running the mixing board and Adobe Audition.

Tukai and I working on "Wild Thing":

We even played a couple of concerts for the community. This is some footage of a gig we did at the Inukjuak Recreation Center that was broadcasted live over the radio. It's a cover tune from krautrock legends Neu!

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