DJ Amber: dj, producer, musician + creative soul

DJ culture, events, and assorted advice with San Francisco-based DJ and producer, Amber.

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Friday, February 27, 2004

 

>>_DOUBLE WHAMMY

Not the best day...Not only did my (XFN Friendly) boyfriend leave for a week-long business trip, but just as I finished getting ready for tonight's gig in Sacramento I get a call telling me turnout is low, and asking if would I mind not coming out to save some costs.

Of course, I agree. I'm nice like that. It's hard putting on an event these days and I can't help but sympathize. Even as I spoke with San Francisco's Top 10 DJs as I interviewed them for :CODE television last week they all agreed on two things: (1) You need to work long and hard to make it as a DJ, and (2) The scene is bad, bad, bad right now.

>>_THE MIND BEHIND THE MUSIC

This weekend I'll be meeting with an academic friend getting her Ph.D. in Musicology at UCLA, she's been studying (and teaching) the musicology and history of electronic music for some time, and has come to town to study some of my sets and observe classes at norcalDJMPA.

This week the academia of DJing got widespread attention from the media (CNN, NPR & many more) from a press release on scratch instruction at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. In addition to his accomplishments in getting this class added to the Berklee curriculum, featured instructor Stephen Webber (possibly along with DJ Radar) is the creator of a scratch notation system allowing turntablists to permanently note, recreate, and potentiall share their turntable compositions.

In speaking with other instructors at norcalDJMPA recently, I learned there are actually two types of scratch notation in use--Webber's and a second method called Turntablist Transcription Method (TTM), co-created by John Carluccio, Ehtan Imboden and Raymond Pirtle. As the norcalDJMPA scratch instructor explained to me, the TTM method is superior to Webber's. While Webber's system is based on traditional drum notation, simply marking the "hit" of each scrach on a traditional staff, the TTM system uses a staff that works on both the horizonal and vertical axis, allowing the composer to notate not only the moment the "hit" of each scratch, but also the velocity, duration and direction (forward or reverse) of the scratch.



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