Opening musical links in Berlin
Manawatu¯ musicians could be about to enjoy airplay in Berlin.
Graham Johnston, a music lecturer at Palmerston North’s UCOL, will be introducing German ears to Manawatu¯-made music when he attends a summit in the European nation’s capital this month.
Accompanying him will be 80 tracks of music by Manawatu¯ students, and Johnston will try to get some of it played on German student radio stations.
‘‘The key to the trip is creating a connection to the industry and forging networks to not only to benefit UCOL but to help Palmerston North musicians find a voice in the European market.
‘‘It’s about getting our students out of the mindset that they have to stay local.’’
Johnston said with today’s technology, there was no reason why someone with a mic recording music in their Palmerston North bedroom could not have a following in Europe, or would not be able to collaborate from home with overseas producers or musicians.
‘‘It is possible to have a successful career in music and make a decent living without being in the tiny percentage of artists who make the big time. A lot of the new voices are electronic, and you won’t see them in the mainstream or hear them on the radio.’’
Johnston was invited to attend the three-day Loop 2017 summit at Funkhaus Berlin by music software company Ableton after subscribing to the company’s Push 1 Trade-in Initiative.
‘‘The outcome was that UCOL was given 20 Push 1 controllers, worth around $1000 a pop, and 50 licences for the Lightbulb software.’’
A Push controller is a portable plug-in 64-pad flat box the size of a tablet that could be used for composing, sequencing, sampling, mixing and manipulation, warping, looping, arranging, editing, and exporting.
Johnston said a leading Australian music school taught it as a stand-alone instrument alongside traditional instruments such as piano and flute.
‘‘We had some students from Whanganui Girls’ College in our studio and after 10 minutes they were making music. It’s a simple platform to get started on, but hard to really master.’’
To attend the summit of performers, producers, educators, engineers and technicians, Johnston successfully applied to UCOL’s professional development fund and the Faculty of Humanities and Business.
As well as attending performances, presentations, studio sessions, and interactive workshops, he will be visiting two music schools to see their facilities and student preparation for the music industry.
Graham Johnston from UCOL’s contemporary music course is off to a music summit in Berlin.