Posted on 11 July 2021
Although the Department of Music's practice, performance and recording spaces have been open in some form for most of the 20-21 academic year, the lockdown announced by the government in January of this year did require the closure of the studios for the first few weeks of that term. To fill that gap, staff organised a series of Distanced Deviations: a series of workshops, delivered online by a different staff member each week, designed to engage and challenge students from recording and production courses across the Department with a tour of different sound design and arrangement techniques. This culminated in a 'found sound' challenge where students were given a small selection of short and unusual sounds, gathered from the University's audio archive in the Borthwick Institute, and asked to fashion entirely new musical pieces from them (and only from them).
The competition was judged by the programme leaders of the Music and Sound Recording (BA) and Music Production (MA) programmes within the Department, along with experts from industry: Gazelle Twin (Elizabeth Bernholz) and members of the Nugen Audio R&D team. The winners were Yicen Tian (MA Production), Noah Lawson (MA Production) and Archie Clifford (BA Music and Sound Recording). Each winner received a plug-in software bundle, with Yicen also receiving Paragon, Nugen's new reverberation processor developed in collaboration with the Department, as first prize winner. Her work was praised by Gazelle Twin for its 'very interesting and different treatment of the samples ... The structure of the percussive elements was really well done, and interestingly layered'.