MESS School - Autumn 2018

Welcome to our MESS School offering for Autumn 2018.

We have 12 one off workshops on offer covering a diverse range of topics and subjects related to the MESS collection and contemporary electronic sound and music practice more generally. Browse the workshops listed below and click through to learn more and secure yourself one of the limited places available.

Our thanks to Creative Victoria for their funding assistance of these workshops
as part of the MESS Professional Development Project.

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Introduction to modular synthesis techniques with Robin Fox

Wednesday April 4 2018, 6pm.

Oscillator? Filter? Amplifier? What does it all mean and how does it work? Designed for people who know nothing about synthesis yet are eager to learn, this workshop will introduce you to the basics of synthesis. Understand the jargon, get familiar with the concepts and put it into practice with some one-on-one time one of the machines in the MESS collection. Aimed at giving you the basic building blocks from which you can then go and create your own sounds in software or hardware. Run in an informal style, participants can ask questions freely as needed. Robin will also be able to personally assist and demonstrate these ideas to you once you start playing with a machine.


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Composing with electronics and acoustic instruments with Cat Hope

Wednesday April 11 2018, 6pm.

This workshop provides some strategies and approaches you can use when composing for electronics. It includes frameworks that help organise your thinking, some notational methods for electronics and ways you might combine electronics with acoustic instruments.


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Electronic sound for film & television with Cornel Wilczek

Wednesday April 18 2018, 6pm.

This workshop will explore the way electronic music has been used in Film and Television with a particular emphasis on modern techniques. Cornel will pull apart some of his own cues and explain the processes, concepts and pitfalls of working in the film and television industry.


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Creating and delivering live performances for electronic artists with Chiara Kickdrum

Wednesday May 2nd 2018, 6pm.

In this workshop Chiara talks us through her live performance set-ups and the processes involved in preparing materials for live performance. This combination of insights into her studio practice and how that translates to live performance will be full of handy software and harware tips.


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Designing sound via subtractive synthesis with Byron J. Scullin

Wednesday May 9th 2018, 6pm.

Subtractive synthesis is one of the most common methods of producing sound from pure electronic sources. Common to the majority of synthesisers built in the 60s’ and 70s’, subtractive synthesis has remained at the heart of electronic music and is still in use across a variety of platforms today. This workshop will introduce you to the ideas behind electronic sound creation as well as an in depth discussion of subtractive method. You will also get plenty of hands on time with a variety of machines in the MESS collection. 


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Advanced sound design in contemporary modular synthesis with Keith Whitman

Wednesday May 16th 2018, 6pm.

This workshop will take you through modular workflow, what is involved in building your sound from scratch and some extended modular techniques. It will demystify the new modular systems at MESS and show you how to get lost in the cross-patch. Knowledge gained in this workshop will be applicable to all fully modular synthesisers at MESS to varying degrees including the MOOG 55 and the Buchla 200.


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Pitching to festivals: a critical guide for artists with Supple Fox

Wednesday May 23rd 2018, 6pm.

6pm, Wednesday May 23rd 2018.

Supple Fox will lead a conversation about their work in festivals and art institutions with a focus on their experience of being on both sides of the fence as artists, producers and curators. This session will be focused on practical advice on how to approach getting work supported and presented in festivals.


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Electronic engineering repair and maintenance skills with Morgan McWaters

Wednesday May 30th 2018, 6pm,.

Scratchy pots? Loose connectors? Just because that machine is electronic doesn’t mean it’s impervious to the ravages of use and time! Things wear out, slowly gather rust, get broken. So what do you do when your machine needs some TLC? Synth repairers are few and far between, and more often than not - expensive. There are a lot of things you can do yourself with simple tools to help get your machine back into use. What are the basic things to know and look for to determine if it’s something you can DIY? Cracking open your first synth case is a daunting proposition! Come and join MESS’s in-house tech and designer of all that is WORNG, Morgan McWaters for a hands on session about the basics of DIY synth care and soldering irons.


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Generating passive income: licensing and royalties with APRA and Level Two Music

Wednesday June 6th 2018, 6pm.

This APRA-led discussion forum digs deep into the world of royalties, licensing, copyright and managing live performance returns. Hear directly from the source the best methods for accessing, logging, registering and maximising these passive income streams.


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Interleaving contemporary methods with vintage devices with Byron J. Scullin

Wednesday June 13

th 2018, 6pm

There are many powerful tools for audio and MIDI manipulation built into contemprary software platforms, but how can you harness the capability of these tools when working with vintage hardware? This workshop will look at some of the solutions that exist and how you can exploit these set-ups and worksflows to your creative advanatge in a way that is not possible via software alone.  


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MESS Resident Masterclass

Wednesday June 20th 2018, 6pm.

Find out what it is like to be an artist in residence at MESS. How do you find a path through the collection when so many of the machines offer up different possibilities? What are some of the creative opportunities working with the collection offers? Find out why certain people favour certain machines and how this relates to their ideas and process. Get closer to an individual artists take on the MESS experience. 

NB: Artist TBC


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Fundraising and grant applications for electronic sound & music artists with Michaela Coventry

Wednesday June 27th 2018, 6pm.

Navigating the manifold funding opportunities open to Australian artists can be daunting. Putting work into an application only to have it be unsuccessful can be confronting. What are some of the practical ideas and steps that can be taken to clarify your ideas to suit the the options, jargon and expectations of funding bodies? Where should you concentrate your efforts to create robust proposals? How can you maximise your planning, writing and budgeting to create a framework that is applicable across multiple funding opportunities? Find out some of the acquired knowledge, thinking and strategy that will contribute to helping you create better proposals and hopefully, gain some success at securing funding for your projects.

 These workshops are funded by  Creative Victoria  as part of MESS's  Professional Development Project.

These workshops are funded by Creative Victoria as part of MESS's Professional Development Project.