This past weekend the 2012 A3C Hip Hop Festival went down in grand fashion. It was the third year I’ve attended, and was hands down the best year so far (minus a few frustrating details, which Jenesis Magazine did a great job of recapping).
One of the highlights of my 2012 A3C experience was receiving an invite to attend a special event related to technology. Y’all know I’m big on staying on top of the latest tech news, especially when it’s related to hip hop.
Gimel "Young Guru" Keaton, producer, world renowned DJ and Jay-Z’s go to engineer, is partnering with Georgia Tech’s EarSketch, a project that teaches high school students how to write computer code to create music remixes. The program is a collaborative program between professors from Georgia Tech’s Schools of Literature, Media, Communications and Music Technology.
During the EarSketch event,
the Georgia Tech professors explained and showed us how project works. EarSketch uses the Python programming language and Cockos’ Reaper. Young Guru will work with the professors to create new audio content for the program: "I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for professionals taking me under their wing and teaching me the craft. EarSketch is the program that will spark the next great computer or music mind. I’m sure of it. This is why I wanted to be involved." — Young Guru.
The EarSketch program is funded by the National Science Foundation and was created to encourage high school students to consider computer science careers. During Saturday’s event, we had a chance to see first hand how EarSketch works. Essentially you write the code, and based on the code, a beat is produced. We also had the opportunity to have a hands on experience with the code, which of course I had to take advantage of! It was really cool to see how written code can turn into a dope beat.
There were also three students from the EarSketch project who talked about their experience in the program. One stated it was her first experience in learning about hip hop music. Another student mentioned he made new friends and has a better understanding of how a computer program works. We also listened to the beats the students produced, which was a product of the code they wrote.
The EarSketch website is also a social media place for the program’s projects, and allows the students to share their work and remix their fellow student’s submissions. The project is only two years old, but based on what I learned during Saturday’s event, sounds like it’s going to continue to grow even bigger and possibly be expanded to other universities and communities.
To learn more about the EarSketch program, visit http://earsketch.gatech.edu.
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