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New Music course launched thumb

New Music course launched

We are delighted to announce the launch of our exciting new music course, entitled Music 1: From the Present to the Past, developed for us by OCA tutor Carla Rees. This course starts with the present day, including contemporary ‘classical’ composers, film and world music, and works backwards, focusing on how one generation has influenced […]

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Well, it’s obvious isn’t it? thumb

Well, it’s obvious isn’t it?

You Tube has a fascinating clip of Paul Simon discussing where the melody and harmony for the song Still Crazy After All These Years should go after the initial verse and chorus.  Even if you are not into music theory, do listen to this – and don’t be put off by the irritating (to me!) […]

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Profit in art? thumb

Profit in art?

Francis Ford Coppola recently made an interesting statement in an interview about whether artists (in the broadest sense of the word) should be paid for their work. Here’s the relevant paragraph: ‘You have to remember that it’s only a few hundred years, if that much, that artists are working with money. Artists never got money. […]

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It's all about pathos thumb

It's all about pathos

Does a composer write his or her best music at a time of joy, tragedy or tranquillity? There are persuasive cases to be made for all three. Indeed we should probably add a fourth option i.e. none of the above as there are plenty of composers who seemed able to turn out wonderful music on […]

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Musical poetry: a creative arts collaboration…. thumb

Musical poetry: a creative arts collaboration….

Creative Writing tutor Joanna Ezekiel has been working with composer Pat Livingstone to set Joanna’s poems to music, using music technology that includes sound effects such as marimbas and a klezmer band! Joanna chose five poems from her poetry collections ‘A Braid of Words’, ‘Safe Passage’, and ‘Centuries of Skin’ that had been tried and […]

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The art of keeping a sketchbook thumb

The art of keeping a sketchbook

An insight into a student-led collaboration between Music and Fine Art Over the last half year I’ve had the pleasure of visiting exhibitions of two artists local to the North East of Scotland. I was taken by surprise to find – among the seascapes of Frances Walker and Kate Downie – a similar little gem, […]

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A new OCA Course in music on the way! thumb

A new OCA Course in music on the way!

Good news for current and potential music students at the OCA!  We have commissioned Carla Rees to write a new Level 1 Music course.  Gareth’s recent interview with Carla gives some fascinating background on her interests, including her pioneering work on the 21st century flute repertoire and developments with the instrument itself (alto and bass […]

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Carla Rees thumb

Carla Rees

Music Tutor, and soon to be author of the OCA’s second Level 1 Music Course: From The Present To The Past, Carla Rees talks to Gareth Dent about her work. I have many associations with the OCA; I came to the College initially as a photography student, and then later became a tutor on the […]

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Now where did I leave my glasses? thumb

Now where did I leave my glasses?

My reputation as a cool dude when playing jazz (pause for ironic jeers) has taken a bit of a hammering recently as I’ve had to start wearing middle distance glasses in order to see the charts. My optician tells me I’ll soon be needing multifocal lenses. Which brings me to Random Fact Number 742… In […]

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