In March 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic begun its aggressive spread, artists from all around the world gathered their creative energies to respond to and deal with the new realities that dawned upon them. Asked to 'write an ensemble composition for 3 or more instruments or devices' as part of a composition module, Louis Dutton, a second year Goldsmiths University music student, completely unnecessarily coded his very own computer programme able to trace the virus' movements across the globe. Driven entirely by passion, and evidently not by the actual brief (which required little more than writing an atonal trio on Musescore), this project resulted in a fully functional programme able to musically represent the spread of the pandemic by procedurally generating notes whose pitches were dictated by geographical location. This was driven by the input of live data from the virus' latest death rate statistics. It is important to note however, that even though live data is fed into the programme, the programme purposefully exaggerates the data for dramatic effect. It is more of a projection than an accurate representation of reality (even though this would also be possible). I want to reassure you that as of August 2020 there have not yet been one million deaths worldwide! The video below is from Goldsmiths University’s Youtube channel as part of their "Pure Gold" festival.
So as I introduce myself, feel free to embrace yourself for the most boring life story ever! Jk (lol) I’ll make it quick and maybe even a little fun. But I’ve always been asked how I got “into music”....
My song of choice for this challenge is entitled "Emoji of a Wave" and it is written by John Mayer. Off of his 2017 album "In Search of Everything", Emoji of a Wave is personal to me because I could definitely relate to this album that had full on breakup feels. I was along for the ride of the rollercoaster of emotions, having recently come out of a painful breakup myself. This song came into my life at a time that was serendipitous to my circumstances, and served as the cathartic outlet that changed my life that summer.
Music keeps a vital role in our daily life. If you begin to count how many hours you have listened to music in a year, it is sure that you will be surprised. Music benefits our lives. Maybe we think that music gives us delight. But, music actually helps more than we think.
I am ICT-Makavenna, a young Hispanic female rapper doing experimental and inspirational music, and I host my music on SoundCloud at the moment. Interesting tidbit about me: I am part Salvadorian, part Mexican, and part German. I began really making music last summer when I was 13 years old. The first song I recorded was called "I’m Real." It was about me being real, but surrounded by so many fake people. It was about some issues I dealt with in middle school. After a year, I believe I am growing slowly with my music and my fan base. The type of music that I am working on at the moment I call experimental hip hop, inspiration rap. Of course, I make music that is fun and that I enjoy. But I am moved by so many songs and genres from so many different times in the history of music. I am inspired to make music that relates to society, that motivate my generation, and that give a point of view from a young teen Hispanic female growing up in America, including the struggles, trails and positive changes, achievements and influences.
The Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS), originally called the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA) first began on a rooftop on April 11, 1938. It started with 26 men, and eventually grew to a society of thousands spreading across the globe. Since the start of SPEBSQSA, the Society has been male driven. And not just male driven, but white male driven.
Where you find a love for music, there will always be a party in the making. The painting, The Concert (1623), by Gerrit van Honthorst (1592–1656), depicts an informal social scene where people gather to drink and enjoy music together that comes alive with illumination and warm tones. The party is open to the viewer as if he or she could step in and join. The merriment the performance holds for the five musicians gathered around a table and three listeners can be felt as one examines this painting. The musical ensemble in The Concert is an English mixed consort (Wheelock). There are both men and women seated around a table, singing and playing music with various instruments. From left to right, there is a bass viol, a violin, a bandora, and a lute. Those performing are dressed in theatrical outfits painted in bright, stunning colors. The women are also wearing elaborate headdresses. The musicians sing and play from partbooks as they are instructed by the concertmaster in red on the left, who is playing the bass viol and directing with his bow (Wheelock). The maestro urges focus, but the joyous quartet is having a pleasant time. The Concert by Gerrit van Honthorst is a genre painting depicting five musical performers and three bystanders; the scene is filled with a harmony between the performers and listeners that is directed by the concertmaster.
When I look back on 2008, I think the heaviest of realizations I conclude, is that the music has always been in, and a part of me. For as long as I can remember, there's been a song in every task I've ever carried out.
A sad piece of bread is getting covered in slow motion with an even sadder mayonnaise. Chunks of floppy lettuce are thrown on some cheese, the kind of cheese that would probably not melt after two hours of baking. A dirty pink, unnatural color coming from industrial meat slices completes the palette. If a little twist at the end of the four-ish minute video takes the viewer by surprise in a first phase (no spoiler alert), it is only to reinforce an impression of reclusion; of meal-for-one situation; of a rushed everyday routine; of forced standardization in a capitalist era; of a heavy duty to wear a happy face mask outside of the house, like the artist Polly Nor’s characters would do.