Shine School of Music Annual Concert 2021 – online concert!
Saturday 24th July 2021 18:00 (Central European Time)
Thank you to everyone who participated !
Recently I came across the term Sonification when I stumbled upon a news article about how images and data from space had been turned into music. The Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula were likened to an eerie sci-fi film score. My interest was peaked, and I had to find out more. Soon I found myself listening to a bunch of videos that mapped spacial discoveries using both images and sound. Each new element was introduced by a new sound, forming strange, complex, and perhaps somewhat random music.
‘Sonification can make cosmic wonders more accessible to people with blindness or visual impairments, and complement images for sighted learners. SYSTEM Sounds teamed up with Kimberly Arcand, a visualization scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., to create the new pieces.’ – Science News
Turning data into music or sound is not a new concept. Off hand I can think of various day to day sonification instances where sounds have been used to indicate certain visual cues. The beeping of the Pedestrian Stop/Walk light, the tictocking and chiming of a clock…
Interpreting data with the use of sound or music for the purpose of conveying certain information or perceptualizing a concept has been used by man since the early 20th century. The Geiger counter, invented in 1908, is one of the earliest and most successful applications of sonification. Indicating levels of radiation with increased warning clicking sounds.
Nowadays new applications and systems for turning data into sound are being developed, and although there is still no exact method on how to do it, various scientists, researchers and musicians have been collaborating to interpret data through sound or sonification in various interesting ways. SYSTEM Sounds have been working on more space music and ICAD (International Community for Auditory Display) holds annual conferences and forums for people to come together to explore research in auditory display, the use of sound to display information.
Changing data is often shown by increasing or decreasing the pitch, amplitude or tempo, as well as with different notes or even timbre. Not only is the data producing unusual compositions in sound, but perhaps it can also inspire musicians to think outside of the box when it comes to arranging tones, or compositions for new music. Several different techniques such as Acoustic Sonification , Audification and Model-Based Sonification have been used. These methods can create various interactive musical pieces or even instruments and there are some open-source software tools that have been developed alongside, to facilitate them.
Sonification is still in its infancy and it will be interesting to watch its growth and application. Perhaps it may even spawn a whole new array of careers within the science of sound and musicology. Check out SYSTEM Sounds for more sonification videos and perhaps try your hand at creating your own sonifcations with tools like combining Arduino and Mozzi, perhaps you will invent a new instrument! Or visualise active data with sound in your own installation!
As promised we will be hosting our second online concert this year! 2020 has been one for the record books and we invite you back again to enjoy a repeat of our successful first ever online concert!
On the 19th of December we will be streaming a collection of work from many of our students live. Students from both our Barcelona and South Africa music schools will be coming together with our online students to perform in an extended music festival. The show will begin at 16.00h CET and is expected to go on for 3 or 4 hours! So sit back, relax, and tune in to an evening filled with music!
As the festive season approaches, lights are lit across the world, and December revolves around many different celebrations that span various cultures. From Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa to New Year celebrations in Japan called Omisoka. Different cultures celebrate these holidays with various traditions, in America Santa Claus comes slipping down the chimney to deliver gifts, while in Iceland, there is not only one Father Christmas but thirteen, named the Yule Lads, each one is celebrated over thirteen nights. Here in Barcelona, Catalans celebrate the coming of the Tres Reis (three kings), and on the 24th of December, Christmas eve, a traditional meal known as escudella de galets is served as a starter. It is a soup containing big, snail-shaped pasta shells, and made from a special meat broth. The meat is removed from the broth and served separately as the main course. The family will take the opportunity to present one another with small gifts, usually giving the children instruments which they use to serenade their relatives with Christmas carols.
Music plays an important role during December and the winter season, and Christmas Carols can be heard in winter markets and shopping centers across the world. Much of the music played has pagan roots, or were originally songs sung in pubs or popular folksongs. This resulted in many odd or hilarious lyrics which have slowly changed over the years.
“Hark the herald angles sing”, used to to be “Hark how all the welkin rings” and was created to fit Mendelssohn’s “Gutenberg’s Cantata” which was actually written to celebrate the printing press and had nothing at all to do with Christmas.
Here is the original, can you catch the similarities?
Carols were first sung in Europe hundreds of years ago, but these were not Christmas Carols we are familiar with today. They were originally sung to celebrate the Winter Solstice as people danced round stone circles. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, taking place around 22nd December. The word Carol actually means dance or a song of praise and joy! Carols used to be written and sung during all four seasons, but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has really survived. (source)
As we move through history, the practice of singing in praise or joy continued but evolved, songs became more associated with religious celebrations, and minstrels would take the songs from place to place, singing them for various people, retelling the nativity story in song. Singing Carols outside peoples doors around Christmas time slowly appeared and the idea of the Carol Service at church on Christmas eve was popularised when many would gather by candlelight to sing hymns together.
It is interesting how music is so evocative of certain times of the year, and Christmas time is perhaps the one that stands out for most people. Everyone has their favourite christmas song, and many famous musicians have released Christmas Albums where they sing theirs. If you enjoy Christmas Carols, you can find a list of the 30 top Traditional Christmas Carols here.
Our favourite music for the winter Christmas season however, has got to be Oscar Peterson’s Jazz Album An Oscar Peterson Christmas. This is perfect for any winter evening, and will certainly get you in that festive spirit.
Music is a fantastic hobby, and playing an instrument can be a great source of entertainment and joy. But times are tough and every budding musician can use a freebie every now and then! Even if you are taking lessons and have invested in a great instrument, having free extra musical resources in your pocket is recommended and useful!
We have put together a list of freebies for you to browse. From free software for editing music, to free tabs and backing tracks.
FREE GUITAR TABS
Ultimate Guitar has about a bazillion guitar tabs that you can browse by genre or difficulty. They have an easy search bar, so finding the tab you are looking for is not at all complicated.
Guitar Tabs has tabs listed alphabetically, and you can even submit your own.
Acoustic Guitar Tabs has a great archive of free tabs as well as free lessons, so you can learn how to read the tabs too!
FREE BACKING TRACKS
If you are struggling to play your music at home, perhaps a backing track will help. Not only does it help you with improvisation and timing but also fills in all the other instruments! Many websites provide free downloadable tracks so that you can practice anywhere, both online and off. Guitar backing tracks has loads of tracks created specifically for guitarists. Backing Tracks has almost 100 000 tracks that you can download! Karaoke Version has a number of free backing tracks that come with variations, for example instrumental versions, or ones that include backup vocals. You can browse and find the tracks you like, and download them. Each track includes useful info such as Tempo and Key. And if you cannot find what you are looking for here, Youtube has loads of free backing tracks available online too.
FREE MUSIC EDITING SOFTWARE
Audacity, while it might look a little complicated, can be mastered through some trial and error. It has been providing one of the best free music editing tools for over 20 years. If you can get past the intimidating look of the program, and figure out how to use the plugins, you can master the art of music editing for free! TIP: Watch some tutorials online! Ocenaudio is far simpler to use, and may be a better place to start if you are just beginning to set up your home studio! This software also lets you listen to the changes you make to your audio files as you make them. Wavepad has some very useful features, like editing audio tracks in a batch (ie more than one at a time!) which can save you a lot of time! It has plenty of handy features like noise removal, compression and reverb as well as audio scrubbing! And if you need more free editing tools, check out this list which also includes a free lesson on getting started on music editing!
FREE ONLINE MUSIC LESSONS & COURSES
You can find plenty of free lessons online for every instrument. Most of them are introductory, but a free tutorial can really help if you are a bit stuck! MakingMusicFun has some free lessons for kids in everything from Recorders to Guitar and Trumpet! Alison offers full courses in music and music theory, all it requires is a sign up, which you can do easily with your email address. Learn how to write your first song for free with this online course from Future Learn! Study how to play the Jazz piano with The Jazz Pianist’s free courses! Udemy is well known to provide great lessons! If you are a serious musician and want to make a business out of your music or band, why not try the free Band as Business, Musician as Entrepreneur course.
FREE DOWNLOADABLE MUSIC
Perhaps you need some music for your video or school project. If you don’t have time to make your own, there are plenty of places where you can legally download free music without any copyright issues. The Free Music Archive is a wonderful resource full of all kinds of different music that you can use free of charge! Jamendo also offers music for free. Soundcloud is not only a fantastic place to listen and discover music for free, but many artists allow you to use their music under the creative commons usage rights. Youtube now also offers free music to use in making a video, logging in grants you access to loads of royalty free soundbites and background music.