Final In-depth Post!

It has been a long journey! My experience with music production has been rewarding, challenging, and overall quite enjoyable.

Initially, I was faced with a seemingly unsurmountable task. The endless gadgets and controls in an intimidating program honestly caused me to shy away from exploring everything I could do with my program. Eventually, as I made more and more productions, and gained more experience from my mentor, my passion and confidence grew.

I learned about basic terms in production, such as MIDI, master, input, output, linear, live mixing, mixing and mastering, modulation, transposing, and much more. Once I learned the concept behind these terms I applied them by experimenting with my program. As I progressed through the project, I diverted my focus towards rhythm and how to make a project that expressed a particular mood and meaning. An extremely frustrating obstacle was most definitely rhythm. As I didn’t have external instruments I could plug in, it was difficult to make a production with a beat that wasn’t off or awkward. This led to a lot of roadblocks. Eventually, to overcome these roadblocks, I lowered my expectations and used more and more experimentation to help me familiarize myself with how to fine tune my songs.

What was particularly helpful to me was my previous knowledge. Having an extensive knowledge in music theory, composing chord progressions, and having years of experience in piano definitely aided me throughout the project. However, classical music skills do not translate flawlessly to electronic music production in a modern age.

My first demo, which is around 30 seconds on my soundcloud, was a compilation of a plethora of sounds. The purpose of the demo was for me to simply familiarize myself with the various samples, instruments, and noises that were available to me.

I then moved on to “Lo-fi 1”. In this track I used sampling, which means I found a sample or voice recording I liked and inserted it in my track. I employed compressors, saturators, and vinyl effects to give me track a rainy, old sound. After I decided on the vibe I was going for, I made chords and used a digital drum rack to make a beat.

After lo-fi 1, I made “house”. This track allowed me to analyze the components of a song, including intro and buildup. Rather than producing a loop that was the same throughout, I used a few buildups throughout the song whenever a new element was introduced to create excitement.

My next track was another lo-fi/jazzy track. I used a jazz sample, then warped and manipulated it to my liking. For this track I combined all the elements I had learned so far.

For my presentation, I have decided to collaborate with Sam. Sam is learning about lyric writing and the instrumentals of creating a song, whereas I am learning about digital production and processing. Sam will be recording her music into my laptop, and I will be editing it and creating a backtrack to support her vocals. We will show a short snippet of our song during in-depth night, hoping to illustrate how a composition/song is not as simple as it seems.

I am very excited!

Big Ideas in Hamilton!

  • Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence societies and events.

“There’s a million things I haven’t done, just you wait….”

This line highlights an ambitious focus on the future, and how Hamilton’s emerging ideas and ideologies will have significant impact on the following course of events that drives the revolution and the growing strength and independence of America.

 

  • Disparities in power alter the balance of relationship between individuals and between societies.

Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came

Hamilton has worked tirelessly to be able to acquire an education. The line is reminding him to remember his roots, and highlights the extra amount of effort he had to use in order to push past his initial low status and power as an illegitimate child in a family of despair.

  • Collective identity is constructed and can change over time.

“Left him with nothing but ruined pride, sayin’

You gotta fend for yourself”

Hamilton’s tragic childhood left him lost, and seemingly hopeless. To find purpose, he immersed himself in education and strengthening his skill sets and individuality. Hamilton’s collective identity is changed with the course of his life and the milestones he faces, which is parallel to how Hamilton helps construct the identity of America.

  • The Physical environment influences the nature of political, social, and economic change.

“In New York, you can be a new man”

New York is a hub for change and the perfect place for Hamilton to chase after his pursuit of the American dream. In New York, with Hamilton’s intellectual mind and determined perseverance, his emerging ideas and ideologies can drive change.

Independent Investigation #1

A: The focus of my inquiry is to evaluate the significance of the alliance between Champlain and the Wendat people and how it paved the path for further interaction and positive/negative relationships between indigenous peoples and Europeans.

The Wendat Confederacy was a confederacy of four Iroquois-speaking bands. They were the Rock, Bear, Cord, and Deer bands. During the time of Champlain’s contact, the Wendat occupied an area known as Huronia, around Lake SImcoe and Georgian Bay, Ontario. In 1650, although they were aided by Champlain they were defeated by the Iroquois Confederacy. After the devastating loss, the Wendat Confederacy split into two major groups: the Great-Lake Wyandots and the Huron-Wendat. In 1609, Champlain arrived near the St. Lawrence River and made contact with the Wendats. He allianced with the Wendat Confederacy, aiding them in their efforts to win trade wars against the Haudenosaunee in exchange for furs to bridge France and the Canadian Shield. Primary sources from Champlain’s stories demonstrate an eagerness for First Nations culture, and how the interactions allowed both explorers and indigenous peoples to progress.

5-nations-and-wyandot-map

Both parties of the alliance were monumental aspects of future relations between indigenous peoples and explorers, both negative and positive. While studying the history of these relations we must ponder the intentions of both parties and recognize the true wants of both indigenous peoples and Champlain. Champlain could’ve genuinely strived to formulate a personal relationship on an intimate level, or was strictly seeking resources and an exchange of strengths to aid his own agenda. The ethics and connections between two vastly different cultures in a time of ambition is a broad, yet crucial topic to consider.

 

  1. Cause and consequence

The French observed the superior furs that the Wendat possessed. They utilized missionaries was to convert the Wendat people to Christianity. The Wendat response was initially reluctant, but when Champlain helped the Wendat raid the Mohawk, his loyalty to the Wendat was solidified and a relationship started to form. Once the Wendat began to recognize the strength and dominance Champlain would bring to their group, they formally entered an agreement and were able to access advanced technology. The root of future alliances stemmed from an acknowledgement of both side’s weaknesses and strengths. This alliance in turn raised tensions between the Wendat and other groups, which ultimately led to their death. However, it is important to consider and the increasing idea of European contact and utilization of resources that benefited and shaped the development of future organizations, including the Hudson’s Bay.

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On the other hand, Champlain did not fully respect the spiritual culture of the Wendat, sending missionaries to convert them into Christians. In our course of history, there is often a repeating pattern of efforts to mask or suffocate indigenous history to conform it to Western culture and beliefs. Though Champlain made efforts to encourage bonding between indigenous people and Europeans, through marriage and exchange trips, it is evident that he had somewhat ulterior motives and was ambitious in his pursuit of rather westernizing their culture to accommodate to his idea of a trade relationship. Europeans additionally brought in several diseases which created great unrest and consideration of severing all ties. The realization of these intentions may have led to the death of Huronia in 1649 and the downfall of the fur trade after its peak performance. This could have indirectly began the cycle of eradication of indigenous culture in the future, which is still evident today. 

 

 

  1. Ethical judgement

At the time, the members of society were focused on self development and furthering their own span of control on resources and land area. Little groups rarely considered the ethics or morality of decisions, because making decisions based on morality was relatively rare. In the case of alliances between indigenous peoples and Europeans, both parties saw an opportunity to advance their dominance through obtaining materials that were exclusive to each party. Both groups had similar motives (to control the fur trade), so with needs that could be fulfilled by the other party, the agreements were obviously an advantage.

From a current perspective, sending missionaries to the Wendat without notice is considered rather invasive and disrespectful to the Wendat’s own cultures. Even in our society today, we make trade agreements for our benefits but we ensure that both parties are represented as equals and moral standards are being met. Champlain’s requests were blunt, including marriage (with Europeans), which contradicted Wendat beliefs. In today’s society, all areas of the other party’s needs are to be discussed within a contract agreement. This includes company protocol, their values, laws, and goals. A trade or agreement must not be invasive or have one party imposing their ideas on the other.

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B: Champlain’s alliance with the Wendat heightened the efficiency and power of the fur trade, growing the economical and business prowess of New France. The Wendat had access to advanced Western weapons, which would aid them in wars. The gain both parties received demonstrates a basic principle of trade and future alliance. If one party has something the other is lacking, and vice versa, a trade is the best solution for their shortcomings. The alliance with the Wendat, and Champlain’s enthusiasm to grow interest in their culture, although expressed in a bluntly disrespectful manner at times, showcases a bond that was a stepping stone for other alliances in the future.

 

 

In depth week 11

I’ve made two official short tracks apart from my demo so far. One of them is a relaxing, lo-fi beat, whereas with the other one I experimented with faster rhythm and tools to create buildup. The learning process has been quite difficult and often frustrating, but I am satisfied with my progress and my grasping of basic tools and concepts.

1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

My mentor allows me to experiment with Ableton rather than providing me with a strict structure that may limit my exposure to all the various features of the program and the possibilities that could occur.

2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

To reinforce new learning, it is always helpful to watch online tutorials (which I have been using quite often) and listen to existing tracks that demonstrate the material learned. Music production is not often like instruments in the sense that it requires practice to strengthen motor skills, but it does require auditory practice to be able to produce a beat and recognize the effects of compressors, reverb, saturators, and etc. A simple thing I do after a session is simply go through all the sounds and effects discussed with my mentor, as it is easier for me to remember the effects of various tools with how it manipulates the audible sound rather than remembering the technical definition of what it does in terms of frequency, etc.

 

3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

Opportunities such as taking an official class, visiting a production studio, or even attending an artists concert / live performance may help me accelerate my learning by sparking my interest and allowing me to learn large amounts of information combined with real life experience and application. It is always easier to learn music production when you can hear other examples and be able to analyze existing tracks and recognize how they use the tools I am learning about. Music production definitely requires adequate auditory learning skills and the ability to synthesize what you hear.

4. When you get together what do you talk about?

We speak about the meaning of tools and what tools may help me accomplish a specific sound or vibe I am going for, and some tricks or tips producers commonly use. Kody and I share our personal experiences with learning production, and how the first few tracks can often not sound as pleasing as we imagined them to be.  Aside from the technical learning aspect, Kody also talks about his experiences being in a band and using music production tools.

5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

I have recognized that Kody is also learning with me, rather than our relationship being strictly teacher and student. We have reached an excellent level of understanding and openness, and I feel free to discuss any struggles or frustrations I have with having the beat a little bit off, or etc.

6. What are you learning about one another?

I am learning about Kody’s background in production, and how he likes to teach. Kody is learning about my learning styles and also what type of music/effect i am going for, which helps him modify his lessons to fit my needs. We are both learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and how we can accommodate our sessions to overcome any obstacles or learing roadblocks.

Letter from 17th Century

Mother Sutton,

I hear their rushed whispers about me, and the stares that follow me as I stroll around town. The people stare at me, they speak of you in frantic exclamations. Master Enger has spread his lies about us, claiming that we have murdered his lifestock, the horses and swine that once roamed his land. Mother, I think it is time we leave, as the rumours have grown more and more intricate and it is not safe for us anymore.

They are speaking of throwing me into the depths of raging water, hand and feet tied, merciless. I beg for you to consider my innocence, and save me from my fate. If I drown, I am innocent, and though I may die, I am proven of my loyalty and innocence to God. I cannot bear to imagine the uproar of the village, and the cruel fate I must face if I sink. The thought of being burned, alive, forever remembered as a sin, an evil entity, will put me to shame for eternity. I will be a disgusting creature in Heaven’s eyes, a servant of the Devil.

King James has been relentless in his pursuit of us, and others accused. I see rows of women marching through the streets, heads hung, with rope around their necks. He has his men out for us. God has chosen to punish us, and for what, I still do not know.

I wish for you to believe of my innocence, and pray to save me and bring me redemption.

Dearest,

Mary Sutton.

DoL – The Wheels of Revolution

My chosen event is the Stonewall Riots, which were a series of unabashedly aggressive protests and clashes in retaliation to the police’s raid of the Stonewall Inn. This in turn led to the Gay Liberation movement, which is primarily what I’m discussing.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ekw7Fhk6Iw8wxZKqZQGQ0j5wY7LtEBztsx9I-YFUhhQ/edit?usp=sharing

2. The Gay Liberation movement closely resembles the movement for women’s rights, which was fuelled by the law-defying protests and outspoken demonstrations of the Suffragettes. Both movements used acts of defiance to draw attention to their cause. These demonstrations often resulted in violence from law enforcement, which attracted negative attention to police enforcement and caused people to question their trust in the law and its moral compass. Outrage at violence and brutality easily transformed into support for both movements, and recognition of how women and LGBTQ+ were depraved of basic human treatment. The decline of social stigma was a large underlying movement. Social outlook and contact with taboo topics greatly influenced the amiability of the public and their perception on civil rights. The perils and stories of the fights  created icons and symbols for future activists to look upon, portraying an image of unapologetic honesty and determination which we convey today in our society.

3.  The wheel represents an added amount of justice for those involved, but is still continuing and evolving. The pursuit of change for LGBTQ+ people is not a black and white movement in which a certain degree of justice must be achieved. Groups and activists are continuing to target issues and stigma that may still plague our society. The revolution goes on as LGBTQ+ individuals strive to be perceived as equals, rather than as a rarity. LGBTQ+ people now can marry and work in the U.S. but still lack privilege in other third world countries with rigid, pre-established norms. In general, the consequences of the Gay Liberation movement are positive, as it has set a solid stepping stone for modern revolution and continued activism to step off of, as the movement begins to pinpoint smaller, specific goals and social issues.

 

Sources:

‘After Stonewall’ and Gay and Lesbian Liberation in Western Canada

 

http://www.history.com/topics/history-of-gay-rights

http://www.history.com/topics/the-stonewall-riots

https://www.britannica.com/event/Stonewall-riots

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/01/…stonewall-uprising/272467/

Significant Personal Object

What is the story of this polaroid?

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This is a polaroid picture taken of me and some of my closest friends on New Years Eve. This photo is a primary source, as it is taken directly on the night of question. It is an original physical copy printed out directly after the time it was taken with Fujifilm, developed by a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera. The photo was taken by my friend at approximately 11:30pm, and took around ten minutes to develop and show this image.

Various other events were occurring during the time of this photo. This was quite recent, taken at a gathering of around ten people, on a holiday night. Many other people were around, music and games played in the background, and the photo was likely taken in a frantic rush, causing it to be a little blurry. Another crucial element of this photo is the strengthening and development of friendships during this night, which led to this image being taken, as a representation of our bond. Of course, being in 2018, it was taken in modern times with quick, efficient tools.

An interesting feature of this photo is that it is in black in white, although being in modern times. There is written sharpie on the photo, marking the date. We can see from the photo that the background and setting is relatively simple, with a doorframe and a plain wall implying it was taken in a house, which can help infer that it took place at a house party. The polaroid is a little rough and scratched, as it has been in many different locations and was passed around to many people at the house party. What I can’t completely explain is the purple edge on the right side, or what the metal structure was beside the doorframe.

The chosen black and white feature of the photo could imply that the creator enjoyed black and white photos, or simply didn’t have access to coloured film. The source was created to encapsulate this memory on a date that felt significant to the creator, and also to have a tangible artifact of a friendship. With it being a group photo, we can imply that the creator felt most value with the people she was with, rather than a specific scene or event from that date. The desired audience was likely just for the creator itself, as the photo is simplistic and not arcane. The other people present at the scene could’ve changed the course of how the image was taken, as they could’ve presented specific angles or ways they wanted the photo to be taken as well. Because the image is mainly an aesthetic object, many things could’ve been done specifically to produce an aesthetically pleasing result, so the end result is very much purposefully created.

The photo extends what we know about the friendships/relationships at that specific moment in time and the type of bonds that existed, but limits our view into the actual scene/environment of the date. However, having the characters of a story considerably expands our insight into the story as a whole. The source also allows us to make inferences about the creator’s photographic or aesthetic preferences and their ideal method of preserving a moment in time.

 

Historical Thinking Review

How can we better understand the people of the past?

This question is an integral component of studying history, because it connects with many of the other questions and encourages us to displace our judgement in order to examine the past in depth. Understanding people of the past heightens our understanding of people now, and human nature at its basics, hence connecting to the application of history in our present lives. From looking at the behaviour and daily regimens of people who lived in completely different settings and contexts, we learn to embrace various topics and empathize with many emotions and struggles they faced.

Understanding people of the past also requires us to push past our predisposed beliefs and our current context and environment. It encourages effective, deep research without the interference of our personal judgement. Understanding a plethora of diverse perspectives allows us to understand how these perspectives convene and shaped to create the world we have today. We can draw back on events and people of the past to identify how they inspired change and progression throughout history.

With limited resources, this question strengthens our ability to infer. We may look upon an artifact or resource, study the context of the time period, and make educated inferences. History also requires the embrace of change and vacillation in various viewpoints and opinions, so being able to establish our own thoughts while drawing from other sources and new information paves the path for a broader understanding of past people and times.

In depth Week 5

The past few weeks have been very relaxed but helpful in familiarizing me to the program I’m using. I initially was incredibly overwhelmed by the seemingly endless controls and terminology that were displayed in Ableton, but after learning more about terms such as frequency, compression, and etc, experimentation has turned into a purely enjoyable experience. My task for the past week or two was to simply use many controls and buttons in the program to understand how they impacted my composition.

As Kody was unable to meet in person this week, we have stayed in touch online. A logical challenge that impacted our communication was our difference in genre/field. Kody works more with rock music, so recording his own playing and inserting it into a program. I am purely working with production, and using the tools and synths available to me on the program. These factors often hindered his ability to answer certain specific questions I had regarding electronic music and etc, but we were able to use many concepts he had learned through rock music and apply them in production concepts in general.

This also posed as a learning challenge. I found that a lot of the specific effects or types of electronic music I was going for were very much up to my own discovery, rather than Kody showing me all the details. However, to hold myself accountable, I tried my best to take the basic concepts he told me and his past experiences to further enrich my own discovery. Kody spoke to me about BPM and rhythm within the program, and I found that I could easily transfer the basic information I gained regarding rhythm and put my own spin on it to fit the style of electronic music I was going for. Kody was also very supportive and provided me with another possible mentor that would help me with more of the specifics of electronic music production, Alex Ballantyne. I emailed Alex and will be additionally meeting with him.

What I found went very well in our sessions and was very valuable was our discussions about the topic of music production itself. Kody cleared up any assumptions I had that would limit me and emphasized the idea that music production was mainly a process of self experimentation and application. I originally thought I would have a set task list with specific lessons, but Kody reminded me of the true essence of learning music production. He gave me tools I needed, but didn’t overwhelm me and encouraged me to experiment which has really made my experience enjoyable.

So far, I’ve made a few demos. I am looking forward to how I’ll progress, especially with an additional mentor secured!

In Depth Week 3 Post

This week, I met with my mentor, Kody, and we had a very insightful session. I learned about his personal experience with music production and some basics of the program I will be using.

Kody did music production for his IDS and began getting more into the field, visiting professional studios, and producing his own music. He works mainly with guitar and punk music, whereas I will be doing purely digital electronic/hiphop lo fi music production. We discussed the differences and obstacles we would face, as he had a skillset that differed from my field of production and the program I was mainly using.

Kody found his experience very rewarding, and throughout our meeting, he emphasized the importance of gaining just the right amount of knowledge and embarking on my own journey. He gave me the basic components of a track and key elements of a production, as well as explaining the meaning and use of terms such as input, output, MIDI, DAW, live mix, master mix, linear tracks, and master tracks.

He spoke about how I shouldn’t be trying to gain a complete, deep understanding of electronic production as a whole, as the topic is very broad and can easily overwhelm me throughout the course of in-depth. His advice was to learn as I go and EXPERIMENT with my software. Another key idea we discussed was the importance of using the tools I learn to help me create, rather than limit me with certain rules or impressions set upon me by other artists’ creation. With his advice, I have been just simply experimenting with Ableton and producing simple demo tracks. I realized that the topic I chose doesn’t really allow for a lot of structure or . specific set of tasks/steps to produce, so I will try to fully grasp the ideas I need with my own direction.

From our meeting, I have learned many basic elements of Ableton Live, and also how to open my horizon of creation/experimentation.

So far, I am getting more engrossed into my topic and am excited to expand on my skills!