Monday, December 6, 2010

notice dream connect do

what we're experimenting with in the lab...

learners in a safe space, free from imposed curriculum, regimented seat time, and rules that perpetuate rule breaking. a space where learners are the owners and choice makers of what to learn and do.

our curriculum, per se, is a model we've come up with (via students, expert self-constructed learners, fumblers, etc...), to fine tune, perpetuate, validate, sustain, and spread/share, what we believe is the only skill needed to find one's own success: what to do when you don't know what to do. Erica McWilliams got us thinking this way when she penned, usefully ignorant in this paper.

this is a video of kids modeling the process.
this is the makings of a stand alone site to help others seeking detox.
this is a form where learners/mentors log/document weekly. [some for detox, some to provide examples for those going through detox. all to reflect.]
we are working with Jim Folkestad, CSU, to affect the research of an activity systems mapping we're crafting to monitor growth of a learner and their mentor.
our goal is to prune out what isn't needed and amp what is. make school real life.. and life humane.
this is our proposal for next year, per request of our superintendent and mayor.

here is a student log just posted today:
It can be hard to fully understand something when you are completely submerged in it.  Only in stepping back and looking at something from the outside can you see the whole picture.  This is especially the case when I'm recording.  I will get so into a section of song and work on it for so long that although it sounds good alone, it does not flow in the song.  This is also the case when I over emphasize an instrument or effect.  
On a separate note that will eventually tie in,  My brother (Trent Waneka, My music mentor)  is having a hard time doing a log.  He feels like he doesn't do much to mentor me, and doesn't know what to write about.  However,  he plays a large roll, it's just hard for him to understand what that roll is.  First and foremost,  he is the audience of my music.  I have pushed my music onto many people,  he is one of the only ones who have embraced it.  He genuinely likes my music. He is the person that has made the greatest effort to listen to,  take interest in, and appreciate the music I make.  For that I love him.  Without an audience, what would drive somebody to work passionately at art?  Secondly he helps me to take a step back and see the whole picture in my songs.  Thirdly he gives me music he likes that influences me. and lastly he is someone to bounce ideas off of and have conversation specific to my music. Because he does these things inadvertently, it is hard for him to see that he is a mentor in a large way.  But I couldn't ask for a better mentor for my situation.  It almost wouldn't work if he was a musician.  Because if I was trying to imitate him,  my music wouldn't be original and that defeats the purpose of being an artist. He also leaves a lot of room for my own self discovery which is key in discovering the music I want to make.  He is more of a guidance if I lose my way and a reason to continue.  
Recently, he helped me to take a step back.  In my past 7 or 8 songs I have been putting heavy re-verbs and echos on my voices and instruments. In a casual conversation this came up.  He did not say it was a bad thing or a good thing, he just mentioned it.  It helped me realize that I have been using the effects to mask flaws and raw aspects of my songs.  I have especially overused echos on my voice tracks.  I do this to make the voice sound fuller, and thicker.  I will continue to use echoes and re-verb, but in a more conscious way.

In most recent song, "Edge City"  I have run into a problem with changing the tempo of my music.  I want to do something to mix it up, I want to speed that beat up,  but I cant do that in a way that sounds natural,  I dream of changing the tempo successfully. ha

I connected to some old music that my dad gave me.  The album "Ram" by Paul McCartney.  It is awesome.  It is as creative as the music I like that's made today.  He did whatever he wanted and it worked.  I have it on vinyl.  

I have had been having a hard time righting a song, so for "Edge City"  I just started recording with a concept for a song in mind.  I started with percussion and worked up from there,  It has been going great and I really enjoy it.  It feels actually less layered than a song does if I were to write it first, then record it.  I know it is strange to write a song as you record it, but it's a process that is a lot of fun.  It calls for problem solving and creative thinking.  It's a method I used on "You Moosen't Do That" and that song turned out to be pretty cool.