What follows is a short account of the GPO elective that I taught as part of Hummie Mann’s Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program at Napier University’s Ian Tomlin School of Music in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The GPO elective program of study took place over five days from the 30th August to the 3rd of September 2004. We were all delighted and incredibly fortunate to have Gary in our midst and he gave the GPO elective an authority and sense of occasion for all those concerned. The university had
equipped us with workstations with GPOs running on Mac computers. The sequencing software used was Cubase SX.
On day one, Gary gave a lecture on the historical background to the field of music sampling as well as the involvement of Garritan products within this backdrop. Gary covered everything from the genesis of the technology to the release of GPO and near future developments. Gary also took part in a special
Creative Edinburgh evening on the Wednesday of that week where both himself and Hummie talked through various aspects of their industries to an eager and impressed audience made up from the creative industries based in Edinburgh.
The lessons that followed over the next four days focused on a huge range of topics from the basics:starting up a new project, how to load up the Kontakt player, load instruments, how to effectively use Multis and instrument setups to the more complex: how to create effective swells and attacks on the brass, making use of the harp packets, creating string parts, percussion writing (including timp and snare rolls) etc.
The last two days of the course brought several elements of the course together. We used a beautiful scene from the film "Year Of The Comet" which was scored by Hummie (believe it or not, the film is about a lady wine merchant who has an adventure in Scotland) saved as a Quicktime movie and installed on all the Mac computers in the midi lab. The previous day, the brilliant Paul Ferguson who teaches all things audio at Napier had set up a recording studio in Napier’s lecture room 1. Paul installed video cameras in the studio and a large screen in the control room (lecture room 2) where the
students were placed to see the cue actually being recorded. The Edinburgh string quartet then had the dubious honour of having my good self conduct them for this particular cue from Year Of The Comet. As this was my first real conducting experience, it was more than a little tricky, but we managed to pull together and the cue was successfully recorded. The next day (Thursday) the students recorded in the cue from Year Of The Comet using GPO with the picture on screen and played together with their work. We then laid down the audio of the string section from the previous days recording...I think I can safely say that everyone was absolutely delighted by the results!
On the final day we looked over several techniques in detail as well as inputting music direct from a score which is a skill in itself. Overall this first GPO class was a major success...Photos of the event to follow soon!
Ged Brockie PNW