ITEM is a series of online classes and workshops aimed at teaching practical knowledge and skills for creating and learning about electronic music led by Lewis Cook of Free Love.
With an emphasis on learning skills as a means to creative empowerment rather than a formulaic method - ITEM teaches the understanding we need to be able move beyond the 'paint-by-numbers' grid that's so easy to get stuck in regardless of your experience of making music.
As well as practical skills, we'll also learn about the cultural and historical significance of specific instruments, techniques, movements, people and sounds that have driven innovation in electronic music.
At a time of social isolation, as much as possible, the programme is centered around group learning with the option of group assignments. Classes are taught online via Zoom and run in tandem with a continually expanding list of resources and contributions from a digital community space hosted on Discord.
ITEM is suitable for those who are completely new to creating electronic music as well as musicians, DJs or producers who already have some knowledge and would like to expand their knowledge, learn their instrument(s) in more depth or explore collaborating with other musicians.
Topics covered include subtractive synthesis (how to program a synthesizer), sampling and other forms of synthesis, creative use and understanding of effects, MIDI and sequencing, and performing electronic music live. We'll explore the techniques and influence of dub, electro, hip-hop, krautrock, disco, acid, tape music and synthpop and how innovation in electronic music has been driven by the 'misuse' of instruments and technology to create sounds that resonate with communities in a unique way.
In doing so, we'll explore the pioneers of electronic music, with a particular emphasis on recognising and celebrating the often unsung women, queer and BAME people and communities that have influenced and defined electronic music culture through their innovation.
Classes will be demo'd using free software (which will be shared to the participants prior to the programme start date), Ableton Live and the studio hardware of Full Ashram Celestial Garden. Students will be encouraged to download the free software and samples and/or use their own instruments to play around with as we learn together in the classes.
Minimum tech requirements for this course:
Access to a computer with internet access able to run Zoom
Preferably Ableton Live (any version)
Preferably a keyboard MIDI controller
If you have any questions about these requirements please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Lewis Cook is a musician from Glasgow and has been creating electronic music for half of his life in bands, as a producer and as a DJ. In that time he's hauled synthesizers and drum machines across the US, India, Russia and almost every country in Europe to perform live. His work as part of Free Love has been nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year award four times and he has produced and remixed music for many other artists - most recently remixes for Charlotte Gainsbourg and Django Django. Previously, Cook has help lead the Electronic Music workshops at the Green Door Studio in Glasgow. He is a qualified vinyasa yoga teacher and likes to grow mushrooms in his spare time.
Classes run weekly starting on Friday March 19th at 5pm GMT (introduction session on the 18th)- places are limited and open for application now below. Applications will close on Friday March 12th.
An effort has been made to make ITEM as affordable and accessible as possible - as such, the prices are based less on the value of the 15 years of work and experience brought to putting these classes together - but instead, just a fair amount that will afford the time and work spent creating, expanding and developing them. As well as this, a concession price is available for anyone who needs it on basis of their own judgement.
The full programme spans over 5 weeks with a weekly 1hr 30mins group class as well as a shorter intro class on the day before course starts. Throughout that time there will also be weekly group or individual assignments. Information and resources will be shared on the Discord community space where a private space will be made for the group participants to share assignments, ideas, ask questions and discuss elements of the course.
Full programme: £75 (Concession price: £55)
As spaces are limited, applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis and also on the basis of suitability for the programme (relevant course material to your experience and interests etc.). Don't be afraid to ask any questions about the course, the material or the tech requirements etc. You can contact us over here. Classes will run on the following dates at 5pm GMT: March 18th (intoduction) March 19th, March 26th, April 2nd, April 9th and April 16th.