Mr Pepper using his own equipment illustrated the growing tension between music and socially low status of various disadvantaged groups in the USA in 1980s, such as Black Americans, LGBT people, Latinos. This helped the industrial music to emerge to demonstrate strong relation between machine and a man, which expressed itself in the development of the electronic pop. The controversy of the “oppressed” groups relieving their frustration and their need for change in music led to a moral panic in the Great Britain, particularly under the rule of Margaret Thatcher. This backlash against thatcherism was also an expression against the popular drive for consumerism, capitalist success and the productivity of individuals. Fascinating, how much we can learn from the simple movements on the floor and use of discarded industrial equipment.
Category Archives: Music
Mr Simon Pepper, Chigwell School: The Emergence of Electronic Dance Music and the Politics of Public Spaces.
Last Thursday several students went to Mr Pepper’s talk about the history of electronic music and how it has evolved over the years. The presentation was extremely interesting and we all learnt a lot about the creation of electronic music and also the various types of equipment they used to create this type of music, for example the 808 instrument that was, and still is, used to create beats. We also got a chance to use some of that equipment which Mr Pepper had brought into school and play around with it and make some interesting beats.
Nicholas Dixon, a student in the MVI, gave a lecture on Victorian Parlour Music based on his winning entry to this year’s Howard Essay Prize. Illustrating his points with music examples, he gave us a fascinating introduction to the nature and characteristics of this hugely popular, and largely forgotten, genre, explaining how it is as important to our understanding of the Victorians, as, for example, the Beatles are to the 1960s, or jazz to the 1920s. A wide discussion ensued, focusing on areas such as the songs’ musical, as opposed to historical, importance, and the relationship of parlour music to more working-class types such as music hall.
Mr Pepper reran for the iiiiv and vi (but new audiences) WPs his presentation on the electronic editing and reorking of clips of speech, from Talk Radio to speeches by Tony Blair and interviews with Princess Diana. A fascinating and exciting afternoon, with some excellent new material on e.g. Obama.
Mr Pepper reran for the iiiiv WP his presentation on the electronic editing and reorking of clips of speech, from Talk Radio to speeches by Tony Blair and interviews with Princess Diana. A fascinating and exciting afternoon.
Dan Nash (OC) gave a presentation on the Blues to the remv and vi Williams Projects. For some years Dan has been spending some of each year travelling the Mississippi delta, interviewing and playing with the old bluesmen and their descendants. From these experiences he gave us a thorough and passionate account of the origins of the Blues in the oppression of African Americans in the southern states, how the music was discovered and eventually sanitised, as well as playing his own powerful face-gritting renditions of some of the main Blues songs.
Chigwell’s Mr Pepper gave an ear-opening demonstration of how to manipulate sound files, especially speech, from Obama and Blair to radio phone-ins. Strange sounds resulted, including irregular textures which could be separately pitched, and complex splicings of a Princess Diana interview.
One VIth-form group (Elliot and Jan) bravely claimed that all sound (and silence) was musical, so had trouble with their second piece; they almost succeeded by distracting the audience so they weren’t expecting any sound, and then, as nonchalantly as possible, making a noise.
Mr Pepper threatens to offer a follow-up on his favoured “Sonic Art” style of music.
Enjoy the two pieces by John Cage on YouTube: “4’ 33”” and the “Water Walk”, as shown on American TV.