Page  499 ï~~University College Bretton Hall- Studio Report Key Words - Studio Report, University Music Education, Research and Composition Ieieh landv Paschall de Paor Prof. / Head of Music Univ. College Bretton Hall West Bretton, Wakefield W. Yorkshire WF4 4LG LK Lecturer in Music Univ. College Bretton Hall West Bretton, Wakefield W. Yorkshire WF4 4LG UK Abstract This studio report concerns the vast changes the Music Department at Bretton Hall are currently putting into place, most of which are pertinent to the ICMC community. In 1994 the Music degree will be replaced by a Contemporary Musics degree. This department will therefore (most likely) be the first to be specifically geared to today's and tomorrow's world. This paper discusses the background, the philosophy, expected results and of course focus on the central role digital applications are playing. 1 Some Background Bretton Hall is a college of the University of Leeds consisting of three faculties: Performing Arts {Music, Dance, Drama}, Fine Arts and Humanities, and Education. There are ca. 2000 full-time students. Therefore Bretton is neither a conservatoire nor a large self-contained university with subjects covering a wide range of areas. It is a centre for the arts in the first instance. Due to recent changes in British education, the Music Department is able to independently offer new post-graduate programmes. Under the direction of a new Head of Department, it has been agreed to introduce new programmes and simultaneously modernise the two existent undergraduate programmes as well. A new BA in Contemporary Musics (CM: ie, all things contemporary; this degree replaces the previous traditional BA in Music) will be offered along with an updated version of the existent Popular Music Studies (PMS) degree; furthermore an MA in Contemporary Performing Arts (in collaboration with the Dance and Drama Departments) has just been introduced along with MPhil, PhD programmes in a chosen area of CM. For the first three degrees, a workshop/project approach is being applied to ensure CM's being treated holistically so that thinking musicians and practising musicologists and music technologists are trained. Due to the way things were, Bretton was high in contact, production (the faculty is responsible for ca. 350 performances per year), but low in research. As part of these changes, research has suddenly been prioritised and supported, and consequently a better balance has been found (see below). 2 Some Aspects of the Bretton Philosophy 2.1 Holistic Education Simply stated Bretton's music courses are all run on a project system which is holism-based. Each project treats a musical theme in terms of socio-cultural elements, history, (reception) analysis, performance, arrangement and composition. The workshop approach to the devising of music from the concept stage through composition, realisation/performance and documentation presides above skills-based approaches to musical practice. 2.2 Technology = One Focus As music is the subject of the course, we are very interested in Music technology as opposed to music Technology present at many other universities. Technology is a focus in the sense that there is a great deal of interest in various facets of electroacoustic music composition and performance including those aspects common to popular music. But more importantly from an educational standpoint, technology is treated as a medium through which virtually any aspect of musical knowledge can be inspired and gained. Therefore CAL programmes, still in their youth, represent an important mode of learning. All Bretton staff are aware that students without a high level of computing knowledge face little chance of work later (as Bretton is not a conservatoire feeder to orchestras); therefore all first year students are given a great deal of introductions concerning and access to computers. In later years, computing is considered a tool for various forms of learning and music-making. ICMC Proceedings 1994 499 Education, Studio Reports

Page  500 ï~~2.3 The Other Time-based Arts Although the three departments of the Faculty of Performing Arts are separate, all three believe in crossing over whenever possible. This is especially important to any Music Department willing to take into account what many call today's "Image Culture". 2.4 Music in Schools and other Communities Part of the Bretton philosophy is a question of a preposition. We do not believe in only making art for a public; we also believe in making art with people. Furthermore we are as aware as any how marginal the vast majority of today's contemporary (computer) music is. Therefore, embracing many of Kodaly's notions concerning the ability to interest the youth from age four onwards, Bretton offers its expertise to various courses run in the Faculty of Education, where contemporary music including IT and popular musics must now be taught within the National Curriculum. Our involvement in various forms of music in the community in the sense of making contemporary (electroacoustic) music with, not at, groups large or small with common interests is of similar importance. 3 Studio Facilities The Bretton view is to offer affordable as well as "top of the line" hardware and software. The range of computers is from Atari, Macintosh (of which there are several) and PCs to NeXT and Indigo Iris. A very broad spectrum of software applications and MIDI equipment is intensively used. There are two 16-track and two 8-track studios currently; Pro Tools and GRM Tools will arrive this year. A modest sound diffusion installation for electroacoustic works is being phased in; the PMS course already has complete PA facilities. These are used at our three fully equipped theatres which include MIDI controlled lighting rigs. All music staff are computer literate; one third of staff are specialised in computer music applications. 3.1 The Integration of Information Technology in Music and Other Performing Arts Courses As mentioned above, the concept of the "Image Culture" plays a major role at Bretton. Therefore two video suites have recently been installed; the intention is to put in a thrid professional one within the next twelve months. Furthermore, the Music Department participates in the Theatre Design and Technology course as far as sound in the performing arts is concerned. Therefore our interests include not only the creation of music for the other performing arts and intermedia, but also sound diffusion and design in a variety of contexts. 4 Research, Composition and Bretton's Performance Groups Obviously there is a broad scale of research in the department. Key areas include the aesthetics and analysis of electroacoustic music, experimental pop music, live electronic applications with pitch tracking and the future of sampling. Working with colleagues from the University of York (GB), three initiatives are worthy of mention: the journal Organized Sound: A Journal of Music and Technology, (coming soon), the Composers Desktop Project and Sound Experience (courseware tools for students in schools). As composition is part of the project approach, it is an aspect of virtually everyone's daily life. All students play peer pieces; a number of visiting composers visit every year, many of whom are involved in electroacoustic music in a variety of forms. In the latter half of 1994 two new groups will be formed: The Cardew Ensemble, Bretton's new music workshop group which will work with students, perform locally and tour extensively and also I " D 4) X (idle fixe) Experimental Sound Theatre, a music-based performing arts group. 5 Festivals, Conferences, Events Alongside the hundreds of student generated performances per year within the Faculty, Bretton hosts a conference every two years at Easter. This year's conference was entitled "Leaving the Twentieth Century: Ideas and Visions for New Musics". Its proceedings will be published in 1995 in Contemporary Music Review. It is expected that each conference will have a very controversial theme where new technology plays a major, although not necessarily the most central role. With a new venue of our own in the city of Wakefield and the use of two neighbouring venues for performance, it is expected that Bretton will host a yearly contemporary performing arts festival alongside its student-based BretFest in the early spring. Currently summer programmes are being held specialising in collaboration between composer and choreographer and in amateur contemporary music-making in the community. 6 Future get to the next century f'irst. Education, Studio Reports 500 ICMC Proceedings 1994