“Countoff” (by Learning Music)
This edition of LMM is a collaboration between myself and a group of middle school music students, many of whom started playing music only recently, under the direction of their instructor Jason Golday (author of LMM 1.8 - Burning Music). The process was a fairly simple one: Over the last academic year, the students have been writing pieces of music together, using what pitches they know (between five and seven different ones) on the available instruments (drums, glockenspiels, and recorders). Jason recorded these pieces and sent them to me. I manipulated them in various ways, adding voice and a few other sounds, paying close attention to the environmental elements of the recordings I had been given. In some cases, the sound of the space in which these pieces were initially performed is almost as important as the actual musical notes.
It was Jason's idea to attempt this. I have to give him a big thanks for suggesting it. He heard early on the mesmerizing compositions his students were writing, and knew they were worth doing something more with. Once I started working on it, I too realized how strong and unique their musical concepts were. Really, the album was done before I ever got to it. I'm really happy with how it all turned out.