As part of a new initiative at BIMM Manchester for our Professional Musicianship students, students vote for their favourite in class performance – and the winner is recorded and filmed. Our first winners video has just been released, and we caught up Head of Live Performance Jimmy Docherty about the programme…
How did the Recording and Video Initiative come about?
I had the idea after we decided to incorporate sound engineers into every Live Performance Class at the beginning of this academic year. We upload every single one of the recordings weekly to Moodle to allow our students essential personal feedback on their development. We have also begun to help the students put together class ensembles for each performance module. This enables students to fully prepare for each lesson, with a full ensemble. We allow students the creative option to put together their own creative covers, even in LPW, (so long as the ensemble can all play the original track). The extra preparation time each week gives the student an extremely focussed and creative environment where they can use new skills they are developing in all their Pro-Muso Modules.
When do Students get involved and how is the winner picked?
The Live Performance Module tutors all get together and pick out the best recordings of each term. We all keep track of the response each ensemble receives in their weekly classes. The performance tutors then short-list the most engaging tracks, and then we ultimately allow the students to vote on-line for their favourite track from a short-list of three.
What are the standout moments for you on this track?
This particular track ‘wowed’ us from start to finish. It really engage the listener from the opening progression. Anastasia’s voice is extremely listenable from the point of view of textural quality and phrasing. The whole band worked hard as a team, putting together a brand new arrangement of a classic track. The impact is in it’s simplicity in my opinion. Some great piano playing from Simon. Both guitarists are extremely respectful of the arrangement and build interest and dynamic colour throughout. The bass and drums are really solid from the point of view of pulse, phrasing, and captivating motifs, and both male B.V.’s texturally invite a response from the ear. Most especially Craig’s almighty Cornell/ Halford belt in the middle of the track – thats not easy for a male vocalist to pull off.
Have you got any top tips for a good live performance?
Develop an ear for listening to your parts within the context of the whole arrangement; and inject emotional qualities into every note and movement you make in your performance. Mostly though, take it all with a sense of playfulness, don’t be too serious in your approach, this can be detrimental to an artists career.