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!

Joni Mitchell

“She painted, she danced, nearly died, came back, danced again, and began to unfold.” (Page 1)

I found this quote about Joni Mitchell very interesting  and intriguing because it really sums up Joni Mitchell’s life in just a few words, and it left me wanting to read more. This quote shows that Joni Mitchell didn’t just ‘become’ a famous singer and songwriter, but she had to work through many things to get to where she is now. From this quote, one can infer that Canadians value people who have fought hard for their position and people who never give up on their dreams. Canadians may be more likely to support people who worked hard to get where they are rather than people who are just given their life an career.

“Joni Mitchell is more than a 1970’s icon or pop star. She is our eternal singer songwriter of sorrows, travelling through our highs and lows, the twentieth century master of the art song tradition that stretches to Franz Schubert.” (Page 4)

This quote piqued my interest because it showed how Joni Mitchell has truly affected Canadians in more ways than just being an amazing songwriter. It shows how much people seem to connect with her, even if they have never met her in person.  This quote shows that Canadians value famous figures that they can truly relate to, rather than people who are purely talented, and have no relatable qualities. From this quote we can infer that Canadians value music that tells a story that could be their story, and that they can live through rather than just listen too. This quote also showed the deep connections Canadians have with music, and how they use it to travel through their ‘highs and lows’.

“It would have been nice to know that she wasn’t purely loony, but rather a high-flying loon, part of a far-flung flock that included brave, imaginative women like Margaret Atwood.” (Page 12)

This quote interested me because once again, it shows the struggles that Joni Mitchell went through to achieve the goals that she has reached today, and how much she has accomplished throughout her lifetime. Many people including me have a natural tendency to assume all famous people have had great lives because of the single story we see them in, but this quote shows that this assumption is not true. From this quote one could infer that Canadians value famous figures that have worked their way up the ranks because it can spread hope. If Joni Mitchell felt like a loony person and then became a loon, maybe it could happen to the people who listen to her music too. A story of starting from the bottom and reaching the top also draws in the listeners, and interests them just like Joni Mitchell, so this shows that Canadians value stories of accomplishment.

“Joni may have felt she was a misunderstood member of the Canadian lunatic generation, but it was her destiny to alchemize all that loneliness into music that made people feel they were not alone.” (Page 27)

This quote interested me because it shows where Joni Mitchell’s passion and motivation came from. All singers and songwriters tend to have something that drives them to sing or write songs, and this is Joni Mitchell’s.  This quote can tell us that Canadian’s value songwriters and people that value them back. Joni Mitchell writes her songs to help make her listeners feel less lonely. The fact that she puts so much care into her songs and writes them for listeners may draw in Canadian’s to listen more than someone who wrote their songs for themselves and just happened to share them. Canadian’s have a stereotype of being over polite and kind, and maybe the reason we have that stereotype is because we value people who are thoughtful, kind, and value us.

“‘Every bit of trouble I went through, I’m grateful for,’ she said. ‘Bad fortune changed the course of my destiny. I became a musician.'” (Page 43)

I chose this quote because it shows how positive Joni Mitchell stayed throughout her life, and how she appreciates all of the challenges she went through because they helped her to become who she is. From this quote, one could infer that Canadians value people who stay positive and who are optimistic people, rather than people who complain about tough experiences. Canadians value people who can take a bad situation and find the silver lining. Joni Mitchell can find that silver lining, and she also teaches others to be positive in their lives by demonstrating it herself. Because of this, one could also infer that Canadians value people who can teach them and help them improve.

One theme that I am finding very prominent in this book is that everyone has difficult times in their lives, but if you persevere through them you will come out with more resilience and strength. The biography shows how many difficult situations Joni Mitchell had in her life and how from each of these, something good came out of it. In her case it was usually an amazing song. Each time she went through something tough, her songwriting career improved, and she improved as a person. Joni Mitchell’s biography has been very interesting so far, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

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.

Our Founding Father: A Fearless Front Runner, or a Fallacious Figure?

Mr. Morris


April 17th, 2018

As Canadians, we have celebrated our founding fathers for over a hundred years; however, it may be time to change that tradition. While many view John A. Macdonald as an inspiring, influential leader and founding father of Canada, others see him as an “architect of genocide,” and argue that his name and likeness should not be recognized in public spaces (Battingall). Due to his contributions to residential schools and racism in Canada, and Canada’s progressive atmosphere, MacDonald’s name and likeness should be removed from the public sphere.

Macdonald should not be commemorated or celebrated because everyone has a right to feel comfortable and safe in their own schools and communities. By putting Macdonald’s name on schools, or his statue up in Place Du Canada, we are making people who have been negatively affected by Macdonald feel less safe in their own environment. Minority races were clearly discriminated against by Macdonald, as he “established residential schools, broke treaties by refusing to supply food to starving First Nations on the Prairies and created a pass system […] in which a status Indian living on reserve could not leave the territory without government permission” (Gwyn). Some even believe that MacDonald’s “decision to open residential schools was ‘one of the most problematic in our history.’” If Canadians ignore the fact that Macdonald was racist, and continue to honor him as an influential person, we indirectly devalue racism, stating that if one does enough good in their lifetime that it’s acceptable to hold these views.  Canadians should remove Macdonald from the public to encourage the value of equality within our country, and to ensure that all citizens are able to feel comfortable and safe in their own home.

Some feel that MacDonald should continue to be recognized because remembering history allows us to grow and learn from our mistakes. They argue that by keeping John A. MacDonald visible to all, these statues and monuments will serve as a reminder of what not to do in the future. However, as progressive Canadians, keeping the values of the past visible to all discourages the growth and change that is happening in our country. We are constantly teaching the youth of today about what it means to be Canadian, not just by our actions, but by what we have on display. If we keep someone on display in our country who thought that “the Chinese would breed a ‘mongrel’ race in British Columbia and threaten the ‘Aryan’ character of the dominion,” it perpetuates the idea that our culture supports racism (Hopper). Why keep statues and school names that teach youth that Macdonald is someone to look up to when there are so many other influential people we could have on display that weren’t racist or discriminatory? Taking Macdonald away from the public sphere does not erase him from history or prevent us from learning from the past; it allows us to learn about him in a controlled manner in schools and museums, without the danger of a single story.

When considering the welfare of our communities, as well as preserving Canada’s progressive attitude, one can see that removing Macdonald from the public eye would be beneficial to our country. MacDonald’s values were very different from Canada’s current values, and we need to update our surroundings to match what we feel and value in the present. Next time you see a statue of a famous figure, think twice about whether it should really be standing there.

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.


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.


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.


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.



DoL #2: Independent Investigation

My interest for the indigenous communities that are existing today have evidently began growing and the film we watched in class really got my thoughts going. It was intriguing to hear about Louis Riel’s life and how much impact he had on our history. Another extremely interesting thing to consider was that to some he was a hero whereas to others, he was considered a villainous figure. He was a big advocate for the Metis people and was a substantial figure in the creation of the province Manitoba. On the other hand, he also fought against the government and confederations that had already been in place. The opinions were all very contrasting but overall I wanted to see what kind of impact he had on the present day indigenous communities, since he was very well involved with them. So, with the help of Mr. Morris, I came to this question: How might have Louis Riel’s existence influenced the Metis community of today?


As my starting point I decided to refine my understanding on what Louis Riel was known for doing. He was born into the Red River colony which mainly consisted of people mixed with European and Indigenous blood. Primarily, most of these people were known as the Metis community which Louis Riel was a part of. At this time, the Red River colony was located on Rupert’s Land which was owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company. During the formation of Canada’s government, they wanted to buy Rupert’s Land of of the Hudson’s Bay Company which caused an uproar amongst the Metis people. This meant that their culture and land could be disrupted. The people of Metis chose Louis Riel as their leader to fight for their rights. This is where people’s opinions divide on whether or not Louis Riel was a hero or not. Some think that he was a villain in Canadian history because he delayed the confederation of this country, whereas many others believe that he was a hero for protecting his people’s rights. Undoubtedly from the Metis standpoint, he was their hero. He formed a government of the Metis and continued to disrupt the Canadian government from making progress. The Metis government came to a negotiation with the Canadian government which eventually lead to the formation of the province (after the Manitoba Act that same spring), Manitoba. From here, Riel pretty much leaves the picture and gets executed by the Canadian government for treason. However, he did sort of achieve his goal by fighting for his people’s rights, and coming to a negotiable conclusion with the Canadian government.


Now to really delve into my inquiry question, I briefly summarize the timeline of the Metis people from the formation of Manitoba, to present. We’d all expected the Metis community to thrive after the negotiation with the government, but it wasn’t exactly how it turned out. Although Louis Riel was a great leader for them and delayed the Canadian government from making any bad moves, the results didn’t turn out to be what they expected. The Canadian government sort of recognized the rights of the people at Red River from their regarding their. However, it all just started going downhill from there. The Canadian government didn’t exactly keep their promises, and the negotiations made while Louis Riel was their leader started to be sliiiightly neglected. The federal government controlled all the lands even within the province of Manitoba which is interesting considering the Metis people were guaranteed their land titles. 607,000 hectares were reserved for the children of Metis but that of course, was not managed very well by the government. Although the rights were fought for, the promises were not kept. Obviously the Ottawa didn’t grant the people of Red River any amnesties which were part of the settlement. Perfect.

The people of Metis were so disadvantaged on their own land, that they eventually led to fleeing to the North-West. This caused a violent event known as the North-West Rebellion. Around this time, Louis Riel fled to America. The Metis people (and other indigenous communities) had a fear growing inside of them due to the fact that the Canadian government wasn’t progressing in their favour, and it was obvious that their rights were being lost. This rebellion lasted about 5 months, and resulted in an ugly loss for the Metis people. This rebellion resulted in the federal government permanently having complete control and dominance over the west and the people of Metis, which has had lasting effects for the community since then till now.


In 2016, the Metis population was 587,545, and supposedly growing at a rapid rate according to statistics, as to 2006. Ever since the North-West rebellion, western provinces are the most highly populated in terms of the Metis community. Another large population live in Ontario. Most importantly, the culture, language, and distinctness of the Metis people remain. Through all the battles they have managed to sustain their culture until today. Since taking on a significant role in Canadian fur trade, many of the Metis communities remain and were developed along the fur trade routes.


To sum things up, Louis Riel being their strong leader, strongly influenced all the events leading up to today for the Metis communities. After being elected their leader, the Red River Rebellion was caused, Manitoba was created, the government fails to follow negotiations made so the communities move to the North-West, the North-West Rebellion happens, all rights and rights of land are taken away from the Metis, and the small communities that had remained expanded and persisted up until today.


Significant Personal Object

What is the story of this polaroid?


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!