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.