Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Technology Tuesday

This week’s Technology Tuesday takes us back to “Chris’s Corner,” a bustling corner inhabited by Chris Baumgart, Imagine!’s Assistive Technology Specialist. This edition of the “Corner” provides some in-depth information about how Imagine! is using technology to allow individuals (regardless of ability or disability) to create beautiful music. 

Chris’s Corner 
“Yep. Painted myself straight into it.” --Chris 

This week’s “Corner” takes us to Imagine!’s Longmont CORE/Labor Source (CLS) hub and into the Music Composition Class as taught by Kelly Faus. Everyone in class has the opportunity to build into the song; the most popular means is by using CLS’s digital drum kit’s MIDI capabilities. If you’re not familiar with MIDI technologies or what you can do with them, Kelly offers a quick overview in the video below.
  Can’t see the video? Click here.

The great advantage to using the drum kit specifically is that it allows individuals with largely varying fine and gross motor skill levels to be able to play drums, guitar, bass, keyboard, any wind instrument, and many more, simply activating each pressure pad in the kit as he or she sees fit.

Now, on to the musical composition. For each project, the class first reviewed four primary sections to a musical composition: rhythm, a bass line, harmony, and a melody. The class would then layer in each of these components to produce the final composition.

For the rhythm section, the class decided together on a drum loop they’d like to put together. There were a lot of considerations the class discussed, including musical style, theme, and tempo. For this project, the general consensus was a “Happy Funky Psychedelic” beat (a pretty tall order). After trying out a couple of loops, the gang settled on one that they felt best fits the bill.

Next on deck was the bass line. Scott decided to step in and lay down the bass track. After deciding on which bass sound he felt would fit the composition, he was able to lay the track down in real time, as you can see in this video.
  Can’t see the video? Click here.

Once the bass line was set and everyone was satisfied, other participants tried their hand at a melody. Once a melody was established, other harmonies were introduced. In this way, everyone had the chance to lay down one or more tracks until they all agreed the composition was complete. Have a listen below to see what they came up with!

Can’t see the video? Click here.

1 comment:

  1. The creators should feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride. What a great use of assistive technology