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Slam Academy visits Denver

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Slam Academy hosted the Denver Ableton Live User Group at The Black Box on Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 with over 100 attendees present at the event, including music production demonstrations by Mr. Bill (Slam Academy Denver), Serafin Sanchez (Ableton), and James Patrick (JP; Slam Academy Minneapolis), with musical performance by DKO, Darren Kramer.

This was Slam Academy’s very first event in Denver, Colorado.  Denver is a city that Slam Academy has admired since the beginning, and now, exciting opportunities to participate in the development of the electronic music production community for the first time is underway. The Black Box is Denver’s premiere Electronic Music venue and Slam Academy couldn’t have been more excited for a better place to host an advanced music production workshop. Slam Academy has been hosting Ableton User Groups in Minneapolis for the past 6 years, and the community of Denver was very welcoming.

“One of the biggest secrets to our success is that we help people find the joy of developing their own sound” said James Patrick as he began his presentation on sound design. The packed room paid close attention to all presenters as they each offered something unique and different.

Slam Academy also paid a visit to a local, non-profit youth music mentorship program called Youth on RecordYouth on Record inspires at-risk youth to see the potential for a better life. Upon arriving, Slam Academy was greeted by YOR Teaching Artist, Mona Magno, who provided an informational tour about the programs. Youth on Record empowers Colorado’s under-served youth to achieve their academic, artistic, and personal best by employing local, professional artists as their educators. Becoming a monthly donor or donating to their wish list really helps to support the organization.

In addition, Slam Academy also got to pay a visit to Mr. Bill’s personal recording studio.  Mr. Bill, a producer and artist based in Denver, provides Ableton Live tutorials about the ins and outs of Ableton’s devices.  From beginner users to advanced, Mr. Bill offers something for everyone. He will show you tricks, helpful functions and many other fancy things. Be sure to check out the sample pack bundles and collections.

Slam Academy will be starting an Ableton Live program in Denver that launches March 4, 2019. The Ableton Live program is a six-month plan designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of this powerful and versatile tool. It will meet every Monday from 7pm-10pm (MST) at The Black Box. For more information on enrollment, please contact Slam Academy Denver @ 720-772-1483 or email us at [email protected].

Mary (Director of Student Affairs) & Tanya (Recruitment Specialist) welcoming & enrolling students

Serafin Sanchez (DEN AUG host & Ableton rep) diving deep into the various features of Ableton

Musical performance featuring Ableton Live by DKO, Darren Kramer (co-host of the DEN AUG)

Teaching assistants, enrolled & prospective students are all engaged in the presentation

JP (CCO & Slam Academy co-founder) amazes the crowd with some sound design techniques

Full house @ the Black Box attentively watching JP’s presentation

Stay tuned for Slam Academy’s full program offerings to be introduced at our new Denver campus over the coming months / year(s)!

Spreading the word of Slam Academy and more; My role as Special Projects Manager

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By Kyle Goodrich (Guest Blogger, Slam Academy Instructor / Staff / Alum)

If you’ve ever spent time at our main campus in Minneapolis, it’s very likely that you don’t need a formal introduction to who I am, but for those of you who haven’t, I will gladly give you a quick one. My name is Kyle Goodrich (Kyle King), I am an instructor at Slam Academy, a DJ, sound designer, engineer, producer, and almost every other kind of audio work I’ve dabbled in at some point over the last 15 or so years working in music. I also am a former student of Slam Academy, having taken the Ableton Live, Sound Design, and Mixing & Mastering Programs throughout 2016 – 2017.

My role now has become the Special Projects Manager at Slam Academy and while that might sound like a very “business” oriented role, I’m really just someone who very strongly believes in the mission of Slam Academy and wants to connect with as many people as possible to make sure that we can get out to more and more students and help them achieve their goals of making great music!

Recently we’ve worked with the Department of Defense Education Activity on a project that involved all of the executives at Slam helping train teachers who are working at schools near military bases and are going to be teaching Ableton to those students whose parents are part of our armed forces. I actually can relate a lot to those kids, as someone who was an army brat myself, I think that this is an extremely noble cause, and I am quite jealous of the kids who are getting this opportunity to learn music production!

Myself and Tanya Lano (Recruitment Specialist at Slam) also got to spread the word of Slam Academy at The Commons in downtown Minneapolis right outside of US Bank stadium this past summer! It was a beautiful day outside, and the music was a perfect compliment to the day. There were food trucks, outdoor games, and a nice big park for people to relax and spend the last fleeting days of summer, as the Minnesota winter slowly begins to take over.

Also, a collaboration between Slam Academy and the Adoption Is Love foundation took place where one of our wonderful TAs, Mike Johnson (Baard) worked with a young woman who wrote a song dedicated to her biological mother entitled “First Mom” and I got to do the mixing and mastering for the track! It was a very heartfelt song and was such a joy to work on. Both Tanya and I will be at the rotunda in the Mall of America on Saturday October 6th [with the Adoption Is Love Walk at Mall of America]. Stop by to hear the song, support the event, and also say hello to us!

There is more in the works and just keep your eyes out for more events!

If you’re interested in getting Slam Academy involved in your event, or if you want to work with me and help get Slam out to more people, please feel free to email me at [email protected] and let’s get in touch!

 

Editor’s Note: Between Tanya, Kyle, and the rest of the staff at Slam Academy we have been fortunate to participate with these organizations and their events. Beyond those listed above, Slam Academy also works closely with Beats by Girlz and She Rock She Rock, hosting many of the organizations’ workshops, classes, and events in our main studio (A: Performance Hall). Tanya will also be involved in this fall’s Performance and Visual Arts Fair! The fair will be held at the Minneapolis Institute of Art on Tuesday, October 9th at 7pm. We encourage everyone to stop by, say hi, and learn more about Slam!

Slam Academy Founder Releases New Book

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Dr. J Anthony Allen, Founder and ACT, writes book on music theory for electronic music producers

Slam Academy Founder, Dr. J Anthony Allen has taught music theory and composition at many universities and private schools all over the world. Allen is known for spearheading the Music Theory Online Program at Slam Academy, which got enough attention that Dr. Allen was asked to speak at the 2017 Loop Conference held at Ableton, Inc. in Berlin, Germany.  He wears many hats in the entertainment industry besides being a professor of music, including music producer, songwriter, recording engineer, sound designer, DJ, remixer, multimedia artist and performer. With all of this industry experience under his belt, it was a natural step for Dr. Allen to write a book combining music theory with digital technology. He takes us on a journey of sound on why certain notes sound good together, chord progressions, patterns, textures and song analysis. Curious on how Skrillex makes those “scary” and wobbly bass sounds?  This book explains it all. Yes, “psycho chords” really are a thing.

credit: Jamie Maldonado

Born and raised in Michigan, Allen holds a PhD in Music Composition and a Bachelor’s degree in Guitar Performance, and currently teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has worked with many forms of interactive media and his work has been described as “a study in ominous sound and motion” (Baltimore Sun), “an aural hallucinogen” (Minnesota Public Radio), and “a beautiful and engaging use of technology” (Cogapp: The Art and Science Blog). In 2003, Allen joined the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art team as assistant director and lead producer through to 2009. He has spread his teachings to students at the University of Amsterdam, Peabody College, University of Minnesota, MacPhail Center for Music, McNally Smith College of Music, St. Thomas, and Augsburg University, just to name a few.

Allen’s pursuits are grounded in the idea that advances in composition must explore the unknown, with an acute respect for music as a social creature that cannot thrive in isolation. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen often performs with a set of glove controllers which he designed, built, and programmed.

J, pictured in the Ice Fields, on an iceberg somewhere off Svalbard. Sailing on the Antigua. – at Arctic Ocean

As a solo artist, Allen’s project experiences range from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. In 2014, Allen was a semifinalist for the Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator of the Year Award.

His music can be found on the Hackademica, SEAMUS and Panacea3 labels and is also available on iTunes and Spotify.

http://janthonyallen.com/

https://twitter.com/janthonyallen

 

Music Theory for Electronic Music Producers:

The producer’s guide to harmony, chord progressions, and song structure in the MIDI grid.

 

As an online class, Dr. Allen has had over 50,000 students use this ground-breaking curriculum to learn music theory. Students and producers who have wanted to learn music theory to improve their own music, but have been intimidated by traditional approaches, music notation, and abstract concepts will find this book to be the answer they have been looking for.

From the Author:

“How music theory is usually taught is unfair. It starts with the assumption that you can read music and understand the language of classical music. My book leaves all of that behind – focusing only on the MIDI grid that producers are already familiar with to learn all the key concepts of music theory, and ultimately, make better music.”

This book covers all the fundamentals of music theory, but is written using the language of the DJ and Producer – the MIDI Grid. It includes “analysis” projects that look at the harmonic and melodic ideas in songs by popular producers including Zedd, Boards of Canada, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Bonobo, Richie Hawtin, Moby, Skrillex, and Aphex Twin.

Praise for Music Theory for Electronic Music Producers:

Page 58

“Aspiring electronic musicians have choices to make when it concerns their own education and training. This text makes one choice much easier: start here and get learning, quickly. Grounded and easygoing, the book uses real-world examples to help you make sense of music’s inner workings while steering clear of dense theories.”

– Michael J. Ethen, PhD
Musicologist

Page 195

“This book knocks the oftentimes alienating world of music theory completely onto its side. Difficult to explain concepts are perfectly demonstrated for the aspiring electronic music producer who might have no formal music training. A must have for all aspiring producers.”

– James Patrick (DJ, Producer, Educator)
Slam Academy, Dubspot, IPR, Ableton Certified Trainer

Page 108

“With Music Theory for Electronic Music Producers, Dr. Allen has produced a remarkable resource: an extensive tour of musical theory that leverages some of our favorite modern tools – the virtual studio and it’s piano roll note display. By introducing us to the “why” as well as the “what” of music theory, this book helps us to understand what makes music tick and how to improve our own work. In addition to offering a sound theoretical foundation, the deep dives into analyzing tracks by Skrillex, Aphex Twin, and Deadmau5 keeps our attention focused on real-world production. MTEMP will definitely go on the top of my recommendation list for anyone that needs a fresh view of musical concepts.”

– Darwin Grosse
Director of Education, Cycling ’74

Enroll: Free Online Week 5/21 – 25/18               Attend: Book Signing 5/25/18

Purchase the book on Amazon