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.
Shiloh House - Longmont Campus
Since the Longmont students finished their albums a few weeks ago, we haven't been up to their campus so that we could focus on organizational development. We headed up to see the boys this week, so that any new songs could be added to the website, and so that they could record vocals if they had any.
It was a fun evening, and the students are coming along very well with their willingness to get on the microphone. Here are a couple of tracks that are fresh out of the oven from the boys at Longmont:
Shiloh House - Longmont
August 16, 2010
Things are picking up for us, and each member is present and handling things with a new level of effectiveness. I mentions this, because it's a great feeling to know that there are multiple people working towards the same goals alongside myself.
We had an informal discussion about the future with the boys in Longmont today. We showed them a demonstration of some of the advanced software that they can look forward to using, and we had them fill out some forms to give us specific feedback about their experiences in the program so far. We also got some feedback from the staff, and that will help us design the next phase of programming. Plus, it will be beneficial for potential revenue supporters to see what the students and staff think about the organization.
Shiloh House - Longmont
August 9, 2010
Today was the day that we have been working towards in a general sense. Today the students received their cds in their final form. We began the class by bringing the students pizza and natural soda, which we had arranged to do prior to class. While the students were eating, we played live performances from many of the artists that have inspired us personally over the years. It was a treat to have them respond so positively to music that, in many cases, was at least twenty years old. Afterward, Cody gave a live performance in honor of the student's accomplishments, stating, "It is only right that I perform for those we have asked, week after week, to set aside fear for the sake of expanding boundaries." Cody's performance was magical for all of us.
Then there was the unveiling of the cds, one at a time. We played each student's mastered song through the monitor speakers, at the end which, we gave the student their cd. Aaron did an unbelievable job in editing the album covers, giving them a store-ready appearance and feel. Each time a cd was handed out, the students would crowd around the featured student's desk, and all would share his excitement. Everyone was very enthused.
For the finale, we unveiled the student's music and artwork on the website. We explained to them that anyone, anywhere, could access and download their music, and that their music would be there, for the world, forever.
We then took pictures and played basketball for some time. It was fun to interact with the students on a different level, especially after so much was accomplished!
Together we set a goal, and together we accomplished what we had set out to do. We all, now, have less fear in setting goals, for we know that they can be achieved.
Thank you boys!!!