Cross-Links: A Music & Peacebuilding Project

What is Cross-Links?

Cross-Links is a creative workshop focusing on the development of useful IT skills, applicable specifically within creative industries, that will be employed to build leadership and social cohesion amongst Protestant and Catholic youth in Belfast.  In order to develop transferable skills, such as computer literacy, songwriting, peer leadership and dispute resolution tools, participants will use low-cost hardware and open-source software to engage with the original interactive visual art imaging (GIMP) and music audio production (e.g. Audacity, Pure Data). We will assume that participants will have no background or training in IT, music or art. Once orientation is complete, we will tailor specific assignments to the ability levels of each participant, so that they can each produce original electronic music and accompanying interactive visual art.  Over the course of the week-long workshop, participants will work toward a final display of their original work to their peers and selected public figures, community members, media and industry personnel and community groups.

Our Indiegogo project page is available here

Why Northern Ireland?

Due to a combination of factors, including living in economically deprived neighborhoods where paramilitary activity is still prevalent, marginalized youth in Northern Ireland are more susceptible to becoming involved in violent conflict than their middle class counterparts.  Since 1998, the creative arts have provided a platform for promoting cross-community peacebuilding between Protestant and Catholic youth in Northern Ireland. Community groups have utilized EU PEACE funding to facilitate traditional music and arts programs for young people on a cross-community basis with the aim of improving individuals’ self-confidence, skills and talents, as well as improving community relations.  Though many of these cross-community music programs have increased trust and cooperation amongst pre-teen youth, bridging social capital amongst older youth remains a challenge, in part because traditional music and art programs are less appealing to older youth, or because such projects appeal only on a single-identity basis – e.g. Ulster Scots versus Irish Traditional Music.  Although older youth express interest in contemporary music, it is difficult to facilitate music workshops for teens from economically deprived neighborhoods because of the cost of obtaining musical instruments and technology. Such a dilemma reinforces the attitude expressed by many in these neighborhoods that although they have paid the highest cost in terms of violence during the “Troubles,” they have yet to benefit from the “peace dividends” brokered in the 15 years since the Good Friday Agreement.  This project aims to extend the capacity for peacebuilding through music to marginalized youth in Northern Ireland.

 Who are we?

Dr. Laura Graham will be the principal investigator for the project and will facilitate the peer leadership training.  She has expertise in Northern Irish civil society, conflict resolution, grassroots peacebuilding, social capital and organizational leadership.   She will handle the organizational dimensions of the project, including identifying groups to work with, finding a space for the workshop, arranging travel, accommodation and catering, as well as other logistical tasks.  She will also facilitate the peer leadership and dispute resolution exercises, as well as the field trips to academic institutions.  As the principal investigator for the project, she will conduct research that will evaluate the efficacy of the workshop’s principle aims and objectives, reporting those findings in academic journals.

Dr. Richard Graham will be the workshop facilitator.  He is a music technology professor in the greater New York City metropolitan area.  He is also an accomplished electronic music producer, computer programmer, and performing electric guitar instructor.  His responsibilities in the workshop are to facilitate the music and visual art projects with participants, ensuring a basic understanding of musical structure, digital audio and visual art tools, and basic IT skills.

 What do we hope to achieve?

By encouraging young people to engage with creative technology, we hope to ensure the development of multi-disciplinary skill sets that may be utilized to create original interactive art forms, music compositions, computer programs, et cetera, that allow participants to create and innovate within a neutral creative environment that nurtures collaborative engagement with adolescents from contrasting ethno-religious backgrounds.  Such an approach to peacebuilding, we argue, assists young people in identifying similarities and bridges cultural differences through creative practice.

Donate by clicking here!

Developing Mapping Strategies for Spatial Music Performance

All videos are decoded for stereo playback. Please use headphones.

This video demonstrates the mapping of skeletal data using an Xbox Kinect, Synapse, and Pure Data, within a developing live performance system. The kinect data controls in-kind spatial flocking behaviors of the ‘boids’ algorithm.

Mapping Strategies for Embodied Metaphors – Improvised Musical Examples

This video demonstrates developmental spatial music mapping strategies, which exploit embodied music metaphors (see Johnson 2007).

Mapping and Meaning: Re-New Digital Arts Festival Proceedings

“Mapping and Meaning: Embodied Metaphors and Non–localized Structures in Performance System Design,” written in collaboration with Dr. Brian Bridges (University of Ulster), is now available for viewing as part of the Re-New Digital Arts Festival Proceedings (pp. 216 – 222): ISSN 2245-7801

Download link: http://www.l–l.dk/downloadables/re-new_2013_conference_proceeding.pdf

Festival Website: http://re-new.org/

On the Relativity of Distance: National Academy Museum, NYC

IMG_5485

My most recent interactive art piece (Thorn Reader) with Ingo-Heinrich Appel will be on display at the National Academy (NYC) as part of the “On the Relativity of Distance” exhibition.

Show Synopsis:

Curated by Filippo Fossati and Maurizio Pellegrin.

On view at the National Academy School from October 2 – November 7, 2013. Please join us for the opening reception October 3 from 5:30- 8 PM.

This exhibition presents artwork created by renowned American and Italian artists during the 1960s and ‘70s as well as National Academy students and faculty who were influenced or affected by the aesthetic ideas and materials of that period.

The show features on Art Forum (dot com): https://artforum.com/?pn=picks&section=nyc#picks43824

More info: http://www.nationalacademy.org/on-the-relativity-of-distance/

Certified Ableton Training Center – Stevens Institute of Technology

 ableton_logo
Stevens News Article: The College of Arts and Letters is now the home to New Jersey’s first Ableton Certified Training CenterAbleton is computer software that allows users to create, produce, and perform their own original works. This certification places Stevens among twelve other certified Ableton training centers in the US, giving Stevens Music and Technology majors an edge when pursing their careers.”The Music and Technology Program at the College of Arts and Letters is placed firmly on an international stage, providing comprehensive training in one of the most innovative digital audio platforms available in the music industry. Each Music and Technology major will develop a unique skill set to produce original electronic music,” said Ricky Graham (Assistant Professor, Music and Technology).Students majoring in Music and Technology will be instructed in Ableton as part of their Introduction to Electronic Music course. In this course, students will begin to develop an understanding of basic synthesis concepts, including warping and granular synthesis. In subsequent courses, students will continue to refine their skills using Ableton for core sound recording and remixing projects. During their senior year, students may use Ableton for their final design project.Ultimately, Ableton will aid in the development of each student’s practical and theoretical understanding of music production, composition, and performance. As Professor Graham points out, acquiring this type of understanding is essential for those who want to succeed in today’s music industry.

Original News Article

Ableton Live Training Center Profile

Querschalltapes Release features on Tokafi

Anyone familiar with Ricky Graham’s discography will know that defining his work as signalsundertests as ambient has never quite done it justice. His personal approach of building intricate arrangements – involving rhythm and even vocals – around guitar-based atmospherics is not just clearly more electronic than the releases of most artists working with a similar set-up – it is also far deeper and more complex.

So it doesn’t come as a big surprise that Graham should be among the select few to receive an invitation to release on Querschalltapes, a unique label publishing looptapes in heavy, embossed metal cases. The particular twist: There are only sixty seconds to express yourself – and they will get repeated forever. Which implies a two-tier composing process. Made up of a spherical drone between airiness and presence, the music’s slightly grainy and fibrous aesthetic perfectly matches the tape’s as a medium. On a higher level, Graham has decided to use the rhythmics of the loop as a meta-act, to play with it as a self-contained unit instead of making things explicit straight away.

Nascent constantly seems to depart for a long journey and just when you expect its multitude of gradually unfolding layers to re-arrange and move into a different direction, it closes in on itself, returning to the default position and beginning all over again. Astoundingly, although that may seem absurd given the premise of the project, it never fails to leave a new impression.

By Hellmut Neidhardt
Translation by Tobias Fischer
Homepage: Querschalltapes

Original post: http://www.tokafi.com/news/signalsundertests-nascent/

Review – Querschalltapes – Unruhr (DE)

Image

“Anyone familiar with Ricky Graham’s discography will know that defining his work as signalsundertests as ambient has never quite done it justice. His personal approach of building intricate arrangements – involving rhythm and even vocals – around guitar-based atmospherics is not just clearly more electronic than the releases of most artists working with a similar set-up – it is also far deeper and more complex. So it doesn’t come as a big surprise that Graham should be among the select few to receive an invitation to release on Querschalltapes, a unique label publishing looptapes in heavy, embossed metal cases. The particular twist: There are only sixty seconds to express yourself – and they will get repeated forever. Which implies a two-tier composing process. Made up of a spherical drone between airiness and presence, the music’s slightly grainy and fibrous aesthetic perfectly matches the tape’s as a medium. On a higher level, Graham has decided to use the rhythmics of the loop as a meta-act, to play with it as a self-contained unit instead of making things explicit straight away. Nascent constantly seems to depart for a long journey and just when you expect its multitude of gradually unfolding layers to re-arrange and move into a different direction, it closes in on itself, returning to the default position and beginning all over again. Astoundingly, although that may seem absurd given the premise of the project, it never fails to leave a new impression.”

By Hellmut Neidhardt
Translation by Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Signalsundertests
Homepage: Querschalltapes

Original Review (German) by Hellmut Neidhardt

“Die Musik von signalsundertests als reinen Ambient bezeichnen zu wollen greift,
wie die bisherigen Veröffentlichungen eindrucksvoll belegen, zu kurz; zu
vielschichtig ist das, was hier um die gitarrenbasierten Atmospherics herum
entwickelt und aufgebaut wird. Einschließlich der Integration von Rhythmus und
sogar Gesang und der Entwicklung einer Klangästhetik, deren Gesamteindruck dann
auch jedesmal deutlich „elektronischer“ ausgefallen ist, als bei den
Veröffentlichungen anderer (Solo-) Musiker mit der Gitarre als Hauptinstrument.
Und jetzt also signalsundertests auf Querschalltapes, dem Label mit den
Looptapes in der gravierten und von gravierendem Eigengewicht geprägten
Metallhülle. Und eben „nur“ 60 Sekunden Zeit, um sich musikalisch auszudrücken.
Mit dieser vertrackten zweiten Ebene, die die („endlose“) Wiederholung dieser 60
Sekunden verspricht. Irgendwie ein Komponieren in zwei Stufen. signalsundertests
entscheidet sich mit der Tape-Ausgabe von „Nascent“ (Achtung: die vorherige CD
mit langen Stücken hatte er bereits ebenso benannt) dafür, allein die „Rhythmik“
des Loops als Metatakt zu nutzen; diese nicht vorab auf der ersten, der 60
sekündigen Ebene zu brechen. Dort nämlich entwickelt er einen sphärischen Drone
zwischen Leichtigkeit und Präsenz, dessen leicht körnig faserige Ästhetik
geradezu perfekt zum Medium Tape passt. „Nascent“ schwingt sich auf, wie um in
ein viel längeres Stück zu starten und gerade wenn man erwartet, dass sich die
Vielzahl der sich Stück um Stück entfaltenden Schichten neu ordnet und „Nascent“
in neue Richtung führt, schlägt die (hier freiwillig gewählte) Beschränkung des
Formats zu und dem Stück bleibt nicht anderes, als sich in sich selbst zu
schließen. Und im weiteren „ewig“ gegen diese Hürde anzurennen… Und dabei, im
Ohr der Hörer, interessanterweise immer wieder neue Schwerpunkte zu setzen.

http://rickygraham.com/
http://inselkind-schalltraeger.de

New Release: Origins and Evolutions (INSTALL, NYC)

Oe_bxu-500x500

Aidan Baker returns to INSTALL with a appropriate follow up to his 2009 record  ‘Dry’. For this one Aidan has brought some friends along to create an immersive composition for multiple guitars recorded by guitarists from all over the world and assembled by Aidan himself.  ‘Origin One (Drone)’ starts the record with a layered, dense drone that sets the frame work for the record. Further on the composition descends quickly into the obtuse with ‘Evolution One (Percussive)’ and ‘Evolution Two (Chime Drone)’. The record is brought full circle by the ending piece ‘Origin Two (Melody)’. Limited to 300 replicated CDs in full color 4 panel eco-wallet.

With Guitarists: 

Jon Attwood, Aidan Baker, Mick Barr, Bryan W. Bray, David Daniell, Jonathan Demers, Richard Graham, N, JF Sebastian, David Tagg, Velladon Vampillia, Slash Vampillia, Matej Volgar, Brian Wenckebach, Nigel Wright

Order now at http://installsound.net/