Author Archives: Aaron
(click to watch video)
Dylan Saile is a former graduate of our program at Devereux Cleo Wallace who has since transitioned into a community home with Third Way Center. He is the first student in our transition program, and we met with him and his father, Kevin Saile, this week to record a new song. Dylan is a prolific artist, and you can hear his music in the Student Music under the name gerard. On this track, Dylan plays guitar, mandolin, and the washboard while he sings, and Kevin accompanies him on lead guitar. We look forward to getting him in the studio and continuing with him as he progresses as an artist.
This week marked the completion of our first full term at Devereux Cleo Wallace. Each student completed their final assignments, and they received credit toward their High School diplomas. The students were required to demonstrate an proficiency in the following areas:
- Song Arrangement
- Sample Editing
Once each student finished their final assignments, we compiled them into a class album. Everyone was given three copies in time to send them home for Christmas if they liked: check it out.
Devereux Class Album - Fall 2010
(click to listen to the students' music)
In retrospect, we had an excellent year full of surprises that taught us a lot about what is possible when people combine their efforts for a single purpose. We have a lot to look forward to in 2011, with the budding partnership with Flobots.org emerging as we speak, and a new term at Devereux begins in the beginning of January. We want to thank Devereux Cleo Wallace for their support, partnership, and for honoring Youth On Record at their holiday party.
Shiloh House - Longmont Campus
We made a visit to Longmont this week, and we tested out workshop that we will conduct with La Escuela Tlatelolco on December 19th. There were five students from our previous program and five new ones. We began the class by collectively selecting ten samples, one for each student, that were arranged into a song. While Cody finished the arrangement, the students were asked to write two or four lines that rhymed to record over the class track. For many of the students, this was their first time recording on a microphone, and we were very impressed with the attitudes of most of them. Here is what the boys at Longmont created on Monday:
We felt like it was a lot to do in an hour and a half, but we were successful in finishing the program within the allotted time. The lessons we learned will carry well into the workshop in December.
Devereux Cleo Wallace
This was Jared's last week in class, and we are both happy for his advancement through the stages of his treatment and sorry to see him leave. He and his girlfriend recorded this wonderful song together on Jared's last day of class:
We also had a really explosive recording session between Chad and Dylan on the acoustic guitar and mandolin. They had built up a lot of excitement by the time we were ready to record, and it was a great experience watching them process the song structure on the fly. Listen to this:
and, one more:
The other students were working on producing new content and preparing for their turn to record next Monday.
Video for Class Discussion:
Dead Prez is a well known hip hop group that has highly politicized lyrics. We used one of their videos to fuel a discussion and asked them to interpret what they saw. Some of the student feedback:
- It is disrespectful to display gang colors in a context that the gangs would not support.
- The video used gang symbols in an ironic sense as a way of supporting their critique of corporate-media and the mainstream vehicles of expression of black youth in America.
- The creators of the video were being hypocritical by depending on a system that they were criticizing.
Our intention for showing this video was to use media that the students can understand and relate to in order to engage a discussion about subjects that are important but often at the margin of public discourse. We felt like it was a good exercise, and we were impressed by the students' willingness to form their own opinions and attempt to vocalize them.
Devereux Cleo Wallace
Monday's class was just a really fun day with the students. People were lighthearted, everyone was productive, and we all laughed a lot. Kiara's album was finished once she approved the final design; look for that shortly. Justin made a new track, and we spent the day recording with the help of our new dedicated staff member, Nina. Check it out:
Special Guest Speakers - DJ Ripm and DJ Shake One
We can't fully express how excited we were to welcome DJ Ripm and DJ Shake One as our guest speakers. They brought in a full setup and showed the students how to mix music and perform. They had a super positive message, which covered the importance of working with people from various backgrounds, touching upon multiple styles, collaborating across traditional boundaries, and even of going to college and getting an education.