Red Bull Music Lab

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Oct 272005
 
Authors: Danielle Yuthas

There are those songs that feel truly relatable, written from one heart, that reach so many others.

"Don't make music for the rest of the world; do it for yourself," said Paul Anthony, an instructor at the Red Bull Music Lab. If a song is written because the writer has something to say, whether it is anger about something, being in love with someone or any true emotion – that is when people connect, he said.

The Red Bull Music Lab is coming to Boulder and it will be accepting 10 students from Colorado to attend a free, five-day music production workshop.

"It is a type of education you can't get anywhere," said instructor and founder of the Red Bull Music Lab, Lorin Ashton. It is designed to be a music-intensive, hands-on opportunity for students who do not attend music school to get quality music education.

Each student will make an individual track using digital technology that simulates aspects of a recording studio. The workshop teaches music production, sound synthesis, song building, remixing, performing live and how to hybrid DJ. It is open to all musicians who are enthusiastic whether musical interest lies in hip-hop, metal or anything in-between. Anyone interested must apply by November 2, 2005 at redbullmusiclabs.com.

The lab is looking for applicants who have had enough experience in music to where they are serious about it, but have not had the opportunity to try to make it their career, said Red Bull Music Lab instructor Paul Anthony.

"We take students who have done a lot on their own and we put them over the edge," he said.

Students with a wide variety of musical interest and background come from different schools and regions. The program is tailor-made based on the chosen students from each city. Ashton said he is very excited about coming to Colorado. He has been active in the music scene here and has worked with many bands, including "String Cheese Incident."

Involved in music since his preteens and currently a DJ and producer in Los Angeles, Ashton works with mostly underground bands, but considers his big break to be when he remixed Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction or Buckethead of Guns N' Roses. He goes by the name Bassnectar. He said he chose the name based on a bumper sticker he saw in the mid '90s that he wanted to use because of his appreciation of bass lines.

The Red Bull Music Lab stemmed from a field study Ashton was doing for his Community Studies major at University of California Santa Cruz. He began working with young adults in group homes to "empower them through music".

"They were connected to each other by music," Ashton said. He was a DJ for Red Bull at the time, which eventually wanted to pick up his program.

It is beyond a promotion, "it has good intentions and genuine interest," Anthony said.

Ashton makes a reference to the Karate Kid by calling the first three days of the program the "Miyagi" days, where students "need to learn to wax on, wax off instead of fight." There is so much to learn.

Then comes the time to experiment, followed by creating the record and finally, mixing and mastering, said Ashton. The after-party is the showcase of the 10 days of work.

Students then have 90 days to accomplish three goals. Goals can include finishing their demo, playing a paid gig or any other advance in their professional process.

Anthony says it is gratifying when students call to tell him about their record deal or send him a copy of a review of their record.

At the Red Bull Music Lab, Anthony refers to the section he teaches as the one that helps students make a living. He teaches what a record deal is and how to copyright music. He started the licensing company Rumblefish, which licenses independent musicians to sell their music to businesses to be used in movies, video games, etc. He said he does not believe in big breaks, only honesty and persistence.

"Just because people know about you does not make you a success," he said. Anthony has worked with artists such as Sarah McLachlan and George Clinton. He is a producer and artist in Los Angeles but he did not start out that way.

He was interested in music from a young age, and when he went to study music at University of Oregon, he licensed the music he wrote as his homework in order to pay for college.

Ashton and Anthony, both industry professionals, got their beginning at the college level, where most of us are now. Everyone has to start somewhere.

"My favorite part is watching students take what they learn and put it in the world," Anthony said.

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