Category: Music

Context…what is it?

OCA students, like other Art and Design students, are often told by their tutors, the assessors and the assessment criteria to put their work into context, to contextualise it. So what are you being asked to do and why?

United nations of the art world

I was about to start a three-year academic commitment. In applying to be part of the Open College of the Arts 2014 cohort for Europe’s first distance part time Masters in Fine Art, I had signed up to deadlines and being a student again: a proper one (not the kind who says they are a ‘student of life’ and winks in an alarming way). I’d have an NUS card, discounts in Top Shop and more two-for-one pizzas than I could ever consume . What else would I learn? What had I to gain?

Comfort Zones

What is a comfort zone and who defines them? Well, we all do; they are defined by our lack of experience or familiarity with a subject. They can be as little as trying a new technique, to exploring an alternative research pathway, and it is the discomfort and uneasiness we feel undertaking a new task that reaffirms our zones.

Music composition workshop

Join OCA tutor Chris Lawry and saxophonist, composer and publisher Keri Degg on Saturday 29 July 2017 for a composition workshop at MAC Birmingham. The day will consist of advice and discussion on writing for saxophone and getting pieces published and will feature performances and feedback of student compositions.

Jargon or jargoff?

– an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.

Confessions of an art student: Part 4

Recently I was contemplating the distinction between origin and originality. I was reading Re-writing the Self by Mark Freeman at the time I was reviewing contemporary artist research for Major Project and how they influenced my own work. I was horrified. What I took to be my own work, the product of commitment to a process with no predetermined fixed point or predicted outcome, resulted in pieces that were strikingly similar to those out there in the world.

rarescale Summer School

Once again, the Open College of the Arts are offering subsidised places to attend rarescale’s composition summer school. This residential week takes place at Harlaxton Manor near Grantham, Lincolnshire from 31 July to 5 August, with tutors Carla Rees and Michael Oliva.

Reading Proust By Kindle

Last week I bumped into myself near Oxford Circus. Well, not me exactly but a slightly older and much cooler version of my teenage self: strap-hanging in the rush hour with one finger tucked into the first few pages of Proust and with his thumb in the Appendix.