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In the Mix

An introductory course to D.J skills, audio recording, sampling and mixing. The workshops were led by Andrew McCall Smith over twelve weeks, who exposed the young participants to new technologies available for sound manipulation and music.

The programme involved introductions to the equipment and software, team-working activities in sound collection, sampling and arranging techniques, as well as free style scratching, and broadened the young people’s awareness of music.

Gaining access to new technologies and programmes in a non-intimidating environment was valued. There was a sense of excitement for the young people involved that their work would be shared with others at the showcase events, and that they would have the opportunity to demonstrate what they could do.

Some participants had D.J. slots at a Youth Arts Event at Teesside University and at The Masque: The Art of the Vampire event, and the launch event of Upper Case Y2K poetry anthology. These events provided exciting arts environments for young people to meet and show off their creative talents.

At one of these events, one of the participants of In The Mix said,

I’ve never been to anything like that before, I thought Middlesbrough was dead. Please let me know about anything else that’s going on.

This participant went on to work in more depth with the tutor in a short mentoring arrangement, after which he began regular D.J. slots at a student pub in Middlesbrough Centre

The project brought into contact Studio 64, CIRA and the young people; from which the project pointed out a gap within existing provision for 13-19 year olds interested in electronic music. This pilot project can be seen as an initiator for courses, which Studio 64 now run and link to more formal courses at Teesside Tertiary College.