Wrexham Glyndwr University experts to share tips on music industry panels this week
A leading DJ and an award-nominated professional musician – both of whom lecture at Wrexham Glyndwr University – will share their wisdom on music industry panels this week.
Graeme Park, renowned DJ and Senior Lecturer at Glyndwr, will be speaking on a BBC Academy Panel today on Digital Guest Lists – discussing how he was part of a team who helped adopt events to stream online – and help keep Manchester’s nightlife alive.
The next day his colleague Steffan Owens, Programme Leader for Sound Technology at Glyndwr and drummer in Welsh Music Prize-nominated band Seazoo, will be a panelist at FOCUS Wales’ Out of Focus online festival – where he will be talking about how music can be presented online during the pandemic, and some of the ways in which Glyndwr itself is intending to help keep live performances going safely in the coming months.
Both performers have seen a major dip in the number of gigs they have played – and both worry about affect that the coronavirus epidemic is having on the wider creative arts industry.
Graeme said: “It’s been extremely tough. Especially for the live sector. Personally I’ve had to cancel or postpone scores of DJ gigs and the Haçienda Classical show that I’m part of has had to postpone this year’s entire tour to next year.
“That’s a lot of income that’s just disappeared and a lot of people who aren’t working.
“Unfortunately the government haven’t been engaging with my industry to find a way forward like they have with other sectors which is why I’ve been campaigning with the Night Time Industry Association and talking to my MP as well as the shadow culture secretary Tracy Brabin to try and lobby the government for more support.”
And Steff added: “It hasn’t been easy since March.
“I recorded with the band I play in recently – that was the first time I’d properly played the drums in six months – and that’s the longest period of musical inactivity I’ve had in 28 years.
“I miss playing live and I miss playing music with my friends. But as Graeme says, there’s also the industry as a whole that needs looking after.”
As part of the reaction to the pandemic, Graeme joined with music legends from around the world as part of the Greater Manchester-led United We Stream GM project – something he’ll be focus on, alongside his fellow panellists, during his session.
He said: “We’ll be discussing the importance of music and how it brings people together and digitally enables us to recreate community experiences during lockdown – with particular focus on what it means for Manchester in terms of being an innovative digital city.
“We’ll also discuss how United We Stream came about and the affect it’s had on people in the city, both performers and community, and beyond.
“I think there’s a strong creative community spirit in the North coupled with a great “can do” attitude that translates well to online streaming.
“When I was approached at the start of lockdown by United We Stream GM I immediately loved the idea of connecting with people in an exciting digital way, as did FAC51 The Haçienda and other clubs, DJ and performers.
“It came as no surprise that the city of Manchester, the wider North West and beyond embraced the whole project which was watched by millions around the world.”
As streaming has evolved and adapted during the pandemic, more and more bands and performers are now starting to consider how their performances can work online – and during his panel, Steff will be discussing both the technological practicalities of this work and studio performance – and how Glyndwr itself can help performers.
He said: “There’s no doubt about it, the live events industry will see the effects of the pandemic for some time to come.
“However, there are countless innovative people across the world that are thinking of ways to continue making music and film, alongside alternative ways to enjoy live events.
“Glyndwr works throughout the year with FOCUS Wales, recording sessions for artists from our TV studio.
“With FOCUS Wales, we’ll be recording sessions for acts to use for promotional material, and to provide numerous international festivals with digital content for their virtual events.
“We have three sessions booked in October and we’ve established Covid-safe working practices to ensure we can continue to help artists to maintain some form of output and to provide our students with industry experience and learning materials.
“It’s so important that we as lecturers and students keep up to date with the industry – and what better way of doing that, than by being actively involved with the creation of content?
“These sessions aren’t just for teaching purposes, they’re commissioned pieces of work. The students will literally be learning on the job.”
Graeme, too, is keen that students learn from the events of the past six months – and will be arranging a series of events as part of the learning blend his team will be offering in the coming months – so that students can combine their practical work with innovative digital opportunities.
He said: “The majority of our students from across the creative fields will probably end up being self-employed or freelancers once they graduate – and I’ll be passing on the lessons and experiences that I’ve had along with others I’ve spoken to since lockdown began.
“I’ll also be talking to various creatives from various sectors in a series of webinars as part of the Creative Futures module and programme that I deliver at Glyndwr. As someone who practices in the areas that I lecture in, this will give our students an advantage for the future.”
To find out more about the Media City Masterclass Graeme is appearing on click here.
To find out more about the Out of Focus panel Steff is appearing on click here.
And to find out more about studying for a qualification in the creative industries at Wrexham Glyndwr University – with a limited number of places still available for study this year on some courses – visit: https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/Undergraduatecourses/
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