Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Eight Waves A Week.

Eight days from today, Blackball returns to Mitchell Woods Public to begin another wild year of bumping beats, earth-shaking bass and wailing synths.

Do you need to know what that looks like? 

Quick, click this Youtube link to check out the latest raucous Blackball performance.

But we couldn't do what we do if it wasn't for the hard work and generosity of our supporters, donors and friends, who turned out in force at the Second Annual Blackball Benefit.

We exceeded our fundraising goal—and shortly thereafter bagged some very pretty new gear donations.

So you can understand why we think it's going to be Blackball's best year ever.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Blackball Benefit II.

We are truly thrilled to announce the Second Annual Blackball Benefit.

Blackball Benefit Part Two takes place at 7:30 PM at Silence, 46 Essex Street.

Blunderspublik, Terrible Edie and Transstar have generously agreed to perform.

As faithful readers of this blog will know, Blackball delivers electronic music tools and teaching to children and youth living in under-resourced communities. 

And because Blackball's programming is free to participants and currently receives no funding, we organize benefit concerts to cover the cost of transportation and maintenance of the numerous, very finicky instruments we need to keep the program going.

To attend the Second Annual Blackball Benefit, tickets are purchaseable at this Eventbrite link

We want our amazing electronic music to be heard by as many as people as possible. But space at Silence is limited. To those generous souls who wish to support Blackball but are not able to attend in person, please contact us at blvckbvll@gmail.com to arrange a targetted donation, instead of reserving a seat. (And if you want to come but can't afford the ticket...contact us about that, too. We'll figure something out!)

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Five Guys Named Synth.

These five young talents make up the Mitchell Woods Blackball Band.

They're performing live at Mitchell Woods Wednesday 21 June.

Blackball is now in its eighth amazing year, and we are better, bigger and louder than ever.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

It's 2023 and Blackball Is Alive.

It's 2023 and Blackball is alive, performance-ready and All Synth.

Meet the Mitchell Woods Public School Blackball Band.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

It's All Happening.

Blackball electronic music workshops will restart
at Mitchell Woods Public School Wednesday 19 October. 
Thanks to the generosity of the attendees at last month's
Blackball Benefit, Blackball is definitely back.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Blackball. It's Yours.

Blackball's board president has been asking me to organize a benefit show for too long.

It's also been too long since we were able to safely deliver our innovative electronic music education programming. 

But it's all yours, and it's all coming back.

This October at an Upper Grand District School Board public school near you we'll be reintroducing in-person Blackball workshops.

In order to make these workshops possible, we're holding the very first Blackball Benefit.

The Blackball Benefit will take place Friday 30 September and feature a live performance by Guelph's own Transstar, who will perform her new track, Yours.

Delivering free electronic music education costs. Gas is like gold. We're turning to the community for help.

Join us at The Cornerstone. It's 10 dollars at the door, and the curtain rises at 8:00 sharp.


Friday, July 30, 2021

Radio Blackball.

Blackball is taking to the airwaves.

Thanks to CFRU 93.3 University of Guelph
Radio Gryphon, Blackball is bringing its
unique electronic music teaching model to distance
education with Synths Always, a four-part audio 

Synths Always will be broadcast Sunday mornings 
through August 2021, presented by Blackball's 
creator, Aimee Copping.

Tune in to CFRU 93.3 starting Sunday 8 August at 
11:00 EST, or listen online.

Tight is right—on the radio.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Blackball. What 2020 Gave Us.

First, let's take a look at the good news.

Blackball is honoured to participate in Art Not Shame's #ArtGives campaign, which speaks to the "need for opportunities to connect across isolation." 

Feel free to view Blackball's video testimonial now on Instagram.

The bad news? Like Art Not Shame and so many other community-engaged arts organizations, our work has been turned upside down and inside-out by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Because Blackball electronic music workshops are not deliverable on-line, our operations have been suspended indefinitely.

But the lockdown has turned out to be a gift for us. We've had time to reflect on the work of our project, the needs of our participants and, most importantly, how to serve them better. So we're restructuring our organization, forging new partnerships and researching new ways to teach and inspire through electronic music. We think we can build a better, stronger Blackball to meet the needs of the post-pandemic universe.

We have so much more to give!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Blackball at Five.

Our project's very first session happened in the summer of 2015.

That means Blackball has now been in operation for a jaw-dropping five years

So this video got real put together to show the universe that Blackball is still hard at work, dreaming up new ways to bring about our own irreverent vision of music education.

There's one reminder after another of just how much our young participants have benefitted from Blackball over the years. There are so many unadulterated happyness moments in these three little minutes, I defy you to watch it all the way to the end without smiling ear-to-ear—oh, and by the way, that's them, playing every non-automated, non-factory, non-sampled note you hear.

So s-s-s-stay cool, Blackballistas. You make us very proud. 

And we're going to get back to work just as soon as we can.

P.S. A confession: Blackball's "wood" anniversary caught me totally by surprise. I’m not much for "Those-Were-The-Good-Old-Days" to begin with. And trying to figure out how to deliver live-performance music teaching, for kids, with synthesizers, during a pandemic...well, it's been distracting, to put it mildly. But the days were good, and they're going to get good again, darn it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

On Lock-Down? Write a Breakdown!

You thought you'd be out on the street by now, kicking some type of kickball. Didn't you?

Oh, yes, you did. Right under that big sign reading "No Kickball."

The situation seems endless and, like everything else on The Earth, Blackball programming is indefinitely cancelled.

However, as you can see from the photo, we are using the time productively. For one thing, we have embarked on a tooth-and-nail fight for more funding.

Funding. Yay.

Another up-side of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it lets all of us delve deeply into our own resources of creativity, and they really are endless.

What's this? Your Minimoog is MIA? That is so not a problem in the digital age. This free online synth Midi City lets you select and play a range of sweet synth and drum sounds from your computer keyboard. You may access it here.

And when you need a break from the breakbeats, read this kick-derriere article about encouraging girls and women to explore electronic music for themselves.

As Fatboy Slim * has so often and wisely said, "we've come a long, long way together..."

* Well, Camille Yarbrough, really.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Nineteen Forever.

On 19 February, Blackball will launch its second Southwestern Ontario site at the glittering Idea Exchange | Old Post Office in Cambridge, Ontario.
For more information, make with the clicking here.

Can't wait for the 19th, you say? That's not going to be a problem, because Blackball personnel will be waving their hands in the air for a theremin demonstration on Saturday 15 February as part of Idea Exchange's own Music Mania, a free, all-ages event. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Blackball: Make That Five.

We at Blackball don't quite know how it happened, but our project is just about to complete its fourth amazing year of operation.

The '18-'19 performances of the Brant Avenue group left quite an impression on Guelph and our second school year is well underway.

Blackball is thrilled to announce that we're partnering with
Idea Exchange | Old Post Office in Cambridge, Ontario, with workshops set to commence in February of 2020.

We were fortunate enough to have the incredible experience of leading a limited series of electronic music workshops for the very special clients at               [ undisclosed. ]

And Blackball's fearless board of directors met on 3 November in Toronto to get all the newsand get ready for Year Five.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Blackball, The First.

Blackball is back to school on the 1st of October.

We open for business at Brant Avenue Public School.

We're looking forward to another year of bringing electronic music to Guelph's communities.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Our Friends Electric.

Blackball's Brant Avenue performance unit
closes the show at the upcoming Jam School
live event, 4:00 PM, Saturday 25 May at
Royal Electric, 52 MacDonnell Street, Guelph.

We're so excited to be taking part
in Jam School's next live showcase.


Friday, April 12, 2019

Blackball. Hear Us.

Meet Maggie, Meghan, Hudson and Lincoln.
These four talented young people comprise Brant Avenue Public School's Blackball performance unit.
We have live dates upcoming.
Details to follow.
It's right.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Blackball doesn't just 'like' our donors. We LOVE them.

This little sweetheart was donated to the Blackball project by one of our biggest and best supporters, the super-talented, multi-instrumental Heidi Chan. The brilliant Blackball kids at Brant Avenue Public will be putting it to good use almost immediately.
That goes double for our new, super-secret Blackball site 
which we can't tell you about because, like, it's a secret.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Blackball Speaks.

Our new video gets up close and personal with Blackball clients at TKBGC's TP Loblaw site in Toronto Trinity-Bellwoods.

Hear what they have to say.

Thanks go to Ella, Lucas, Rachel, Nevaeh, Stella, Allison and Madelyn for taking the words right out of our mouths.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Blackball Is Back.

Blackball is putting down roots in Western Ontario. Our innovative electronic music teaching project has launched at Brant Avenue Public School thanks to a generous financial contribution from the Musagetes organization.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Musical Chairs. Not.

One week from today, the Blackball performance group will debut new music on a new kind of instrument.

Meet the blackballophon, a MIDI controller we built out of spare robot parts, disused electric guitars and a blue chair.
We've used Arduino and Makey-Makey technology to create a musical control surface that provides beat-making and a good sit-down. Simultaneously.

You know.
For kids.

Blackball performs at 6:00 PM Wednesday 20 June at the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs' annual general meeting at 20 Portugal Square.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

No More Sheet Music. Ever.

Johnny say All Notes Off when you listen and learn to the No More Sheet Music demo: Click me, already.