Click here to read my paper on Making Room for 21st Century Musicianship in Higher Education, which shares my experiences and perspectives relating to contemporary Post-digital aesthetics in music creation, performance and production, and the development of new, practice-focussed music technology curriculum at Kingston University.
Abstract: Having been asked to respond to Action Ideal VIII by the Mayday Group, concerning technology and its impacts on music education, what follows are some observations and reflections from my experiences teaching undergraduate music and music technology degrees in the UK. I put forward the idea that Post-Digital music aesthetics reflect an emergent sensibility in contemporary music cultures, and this represents an opportunity for music educators to reconfigure and strengthen their pedagogical approaches. By recognizing the legitimacy of new and varied forms of musicianship, and acknowledging the ways in which our subject area continues to grow in its range of practices and necessary literacies, strategies can be developed to support a music student experience that is cohesive, inclusive, hybridized, meaningful and useful.
Admittedly, not the kind of thing I'd usually spend time on. I'm glad I did it, though. A good reminder that simple things can have a kind of elegance in their efficiency.
Click here to read the article.
***Tickets are now available for this, and they are limited! Come along - in addition to the talk, there will be a pop-up record shop, book signing and a cash bar. Could you imagine a better Friday night than this?
I've had a blast researching for this event, reading Tony and Woody's biographies as well as listening to The Man Who Sold The World A LOT (such hardship!).
Was pleased to see my face made it into Woody's book! That grey smudge is definitely Liz, Charly and I getting our Bowie jush...
This was fun, I was invited by my lovely friend Leon Clowes to join him on his radio show to play Bowie-related music and chat about my favourite artist. How could I resist? You can listen again to the program below.
Currently 1st place on the Experimental and Eclectic mixcloud charts! If you're heading to work this morning, give it a go and enjoy.
0:00: Malio Malio – Leah Kardos (Rococochet 2017)
2:28: Stillness – Hilary Hahn & Hauschka (Silfra 2012) (tape return)
3:54: Contact Mic – Leah Kardos (The Exquisite Corpse 2017)
7:17: Fragment II – Library Tapes (Fragment 2008)
7:40: Voicemail: Singing Telegram, 22nd August 2012
8:42: Innocenti (excerpt) – Brian Eno (The Shutov Assembly 1992)
9:05: Phone recording: Crickets in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, 31st August 2013
9:55: My Cumulus Veil – Leah Kardos (Rococochet 2017)
14:16: Hypnopompia – Somnambulist (Automating 2012) (tape return)
14:44: sun moon blood night – kučka (kučka EP 2012)
19:42 Cat’s Eye – Leah Kardos (Rococochet 2017)
24:14 Buffering Landscape (excerpt) – Kara-Lis Coverdale & LXV (Electronica 2015)
28:20: DFACE Alt Mix (extended) – Leah Kardos (SEQUENCE3 2012)
35:00: Highly Active Girls (instrumental remix) – Leah Kardos (Machines 2013)
39:22: Somnia Tape Loop – Leah Kardos (outtake 2017)
40:15: By This River – Brian Eno (Before and after Science 1977)
43:00: Streuung Teil Ii (excerpt) – Atom ™ (Winterreise 2012)
44:02: Phone recording: drunken recipe research, Bedford, 11th August 2012
44:25: Somnia Dub – Leah Kardos (Rococochet 2017)
I tried my best to use analogue instruments, technologies and processes as often as possible in this project - that meant no programming or editing (my comfort zones) and recording layers of human imperfection and straight-up ERROR to tape and having to live with the results (certainly NOT my comfort zone). The "rococo" reference in the title is all about a fresh style shift. I was feeling personally a bit bogged down in the 'ambient' piano-triads-with-lots-of-reverb-plus-chopped-beats world, so I thought of the Rococo artists with their humour, wit, eye for left field detail and general lightness of being, and tried to adopt some of that into what I was doing.
I read over and over again that Bowie's process regularly involved a risk, make oneself uncomfortable, going out into the water to the point where your feet no longer touch the bottom. So that's inspiring and comforting. I don't really make music for any other reason than the sheer love and absolute delight of the creative process, so why stick to the well-trodden path?
This is a long, roundabout way of saying I hope some people enjoy listening to it, as vulnerable as it made me feel to create it, and as much as the process of making it taught me new things about music and myself.
Available tomorrow to stream on Spotify and Apple Music, and to buy from iTunes and Bandcamp. Photo of my face below, by the very talented J.Slee.
My new album Rococochet will be out on Sept 5th. It is now available to pre-order, and the track 'Cat's Eye' is available to stream.
I was gearing up to write a bit of a blog post about the piece, to explain where I was coming from and the significance of the title… but it's actually best explained with this image collage:
This record is my palate cleanser, something to counter a growing feeling in myself and how I perceive my little corner of the ‘contemporary classical’ landscape, which can sometimes feel very serious and a bit humourless. For my own personal rococo statement, I wanted my music to feel fresh and fun again: to make space for moments of wit and charm; use strong colours; to completely shed any self-seriousness and be open to possibilities.
The album has been created using analogue instruments and recording techniques at Visconti Studio in London. I brought in some amazing players: Paul Glover on drums, Ben Dawson on piano, Lara James on sax, Charles Mutter, Patrick Savage and Richard Harwood on strings. I turned my inexperienced hand to tuned percussion (vibes, marimba, glocks and bells), and vocals. Rather than use virtual instruments and samples (like I usually do) this time I played the CP40, MiniMoog, Moog Sub37 and Mellotron.
I can't wait for people to hear it. x
The new Oxford Handbook of Technology and Music Education is finally here! I was so honoured to be asked by Alex Ruthmann & Roger Mantie to contribute to this exciting volume. Look a that list of names! It's nuts that I'm in there with them.
This 700 page volume has contributions from 42 authors sharing their diverse perspectives and further commentaries on provocation questions at the intersection of technology and music education. If anyone is interested in reading my little contribution, you can find it here.
My article is called "Bowie musicology: mapping Bowie’s sound and music language across the catalogue", built around a fun research idea that was initially sparked in a friend's front room a few years go. I've spoken about bits of this work at the 2015 Bowie themed conference at ACMI in Melbourne and later in a special keynote at Cambridge. It feels really good to have it published now. Thank you Sean Redmond and Toija Cinque for the opportunity to be part of this. <3
If anyone's interested in reading the article, it's here: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ccon20/31/4
and here: https://www.academia.edu/33892304/Bowie_musicology_mapping_Bowies_sound_and_music_language_across_the_catalogue
Check it out, if you wanna.
Listen to the radio program in full here: http://fbiradio.com/945fm/programs/ears-have-ears/2017-05-18/
Seeing my name appear on a list along side this guy… *squee*