The first meeting was held at QI Gaming in Huddersfield who kindly donated the space for the night. While gaming took place upstairs, noise making and cake eating was done by us in the basement. It seems fitting for us to explore sonic and practical possibilities in venue built for serious play.
Chrissie arrived first, and while she set up her turntables and MAX patch controller, others joined us until we had a healthy number of people waiting for me to make a start. Conscious that the project needed a bit of context I explained a little about my motivations, other groups that have inspired me, and completely forgot to say anything at all about the education theories that also frame my own work around informal, community based and mentor based contexts for learning. You can message me if you’re interested but I suppose the real point now is to just get on with it!
Each one of us made a brief introduction. Clearly we have members who are postgraduates and professionals, with particular specialisms and a shared interest in supporting this community. Some members have set aside their sonic interests in circuit bending or computer based composition. So they came to reignite those interests and any concerns that I had about the need or appetite for this kind of group dissipated. People had come from Sheffield, Leeds and even Bradford as well as Huddersfield, to take a peek at what we’re doing and what might happen.
Grabbing tea, chatting and munching on cookies and I adopted the role of bossy dictator (or gentle nudging facilitator, you can ask them which), and pushed us into a meeting about the future of the group.
People suggested soldering, synth patching, Max training, basic introduction skills, circuit bending, studio recording, Ableton and DAW training. We discussed what people are interested in offering, and what we want to do. We agree that a terminology page will be developed for the website, deliberated on meeting times, funding, set up a working group, Facebook group, padlet noticeboard and established other networks that may be able to offer guidance. With only 2 hours (which we pushed to 3) there was a lot to get through, and it was such a shame to stop just as things were getting really interesting.
However Nina and Zoë had brought their Stepper Acid synth and we were keen to explore this and the other equipment that had been brought by myself and Chrissie. Click on the picture to visit their website.
We made one hell of a noise and this is only the beginning. We have plans to build links with the British Music Collection, listen to works there and inspire composers, as well as plans to visit Valley Wood Studio and The University of Huddersfield.
We will update this website with member blogs, profiles and events too. If you are interested in connecting with the network just click on the ‘contact’ tab. We are busy agreeing a brand new schedule for the summer and there is a lot going on. We welcome beginners, experts and everything between as this is a community of practice based on knowledge sharing. So you may have a lot to offer as well as gain through connecting with us.
I’ll leave you with a picture of the group, taken at the end of the session. I think you have a sense of the fantastic energy, and I make no apology for being a little manic (that’s me on the right).