A fun, energetic vibe filled the Lives Not Knives unit as we were introduced to the software programme, Ableton, by Esa Williams. Esa has been working with the software since 2005 and he also does one-to-one workshops in studios. He says that Ableton “allows you to express yourself musically without being a musician”.
Ableton allows you to do everything yourself and also take your eyes off the screen when making music. We learnt that each separate channel was a control for each band member, and it was the controller that allowed us to play music without being a literal musician. Esa said: “You can play around and create your own little melodies without thinking too much.”
This was a very hands on workshop, which gave us the opportunity to try out the software and create our own song. Esa says that Ableton “allow you to create something and make something fun, which is just what we did.
Inno (19) and Andrae (23) kicked things off, as Inno provided the base music using the control board while Andrae took to the mic and gave us the baseline. Ijeoma (24) and myself (21) stepped to the mic to create the melody, and Randy (18) brought the beat, with a little bit of beatboxing.
Newcomer Millik (17) stepped up and provided the initial vocals for our track, followed by Andrae and a reluctant Lily (18), who actually added a hilarious and unique element to the overall sound. However, Andrae was more than willing to get back on the mic and he had us cracking up in laughter with his ‘Family Guy’ reference. Hip Hop artist Rodney P, who is leading out in the Creative Futures Programme, also got involved and showed us how it was done, as he did what he does best.
Finally, Ijeoma gave us a much-needed chorus as she sang, “When I get that feeling, that feeling”. Randy and Inno also came in and provided the male backing vocals to make our track complete.
All of us got really involved in this activity and there was a nice, family atmosphere as we laughed together and supported each other. We are continuing to grow and work together in the planning of our event, which is coming along more everyday.
We now have five confirmed acts for July 26th, as well as a host and a DJ, but we still need to find a band. We are also on the look out for sponsors and local Croydon businesses who may be willing to donate food and drink, so please do get involved and support us.
Anymore young people who would like to get involved and join the Creative Futures Programme are also more than welcome, as Millik came by for the first time today and we welcomed him with open arms. So if you are 16-24, unemployed and on Jobseekers, come down the Lives Not Knives unit in Centrale tomorrow at 2pm.
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