At dBs Insitute and dBs Pro, we believe in music and sound's ability to provide a positive change for individuals - something that was at the heart of our collaboration with 3 Ways School and Open Orchestras. We spoke to MA graduate Benny Turner, who was involved in the project, to find out more!
Open Orchestras is the organisation, "behind the largest community of inclusive ensembles in the UK, in partnership with Music Education Hubs and special schools" and Three Ways School, located in Bath, is one of these special schools that works with Open Orchestras to give their students access to the transformative power of music creation.
Working alongside the Screenology film team, dBs Pro recorded and mixed the audio of the Three Ways School orchestra's original piece 'Rainbows', which was live-streamed to an annual Open Orchestra conference and turned into a short film about the benefits of Open Orchestras for students at special schools.
The recording took place in a bespoke performance space at Three Ways School and used Open Orchestra's unique, app-based instrument the 'Clarion', which is, "revolutionising musical access for 100s of young people across the UK," and gives members of the orchestra with reduced mobility the ability to make beautifully expressive and creative music.
We caught up with Benny Turner, a dBs Institute MA Innovation in Sound graduate who already has experience working with young people with additional complex needs to create music, to find out more about the project.
What was it like working with 3 Ways School and Open Orchestras on this project?
The session with Open Orchestras took place at one of the country's best-equipped sensory spaces, which was amazing because, at the time, I was also researching the impact of multi-sensory rooms and music technology within the context of community music and music therapy. The session went really well! Open Orchestras are an inspiring organisation, it was great to work with them and the young people.
How do you think the work of Open Orchestras helps the children who participate in it?
The work Open Orchestras does seems wholly inclusive and most importantly person-centred, which is amazing to see!
From a technical perspective, what was your role in the project and what did it involve?
I was responsible for assisting with the planning of, setting up and facilitating a live recording session with the young people performing their songs. This involved choosing the right microphones for the job and placing them strategically, but discretely, in the room we were based in. I was also responsible for using Pro Tools to record the session and monitor the levels carefully.
What was your experience working as part of the dBs Pro team?
I got a lot out of working with dBs Pro. Jay is amazing and a very relaxed guy which makes things a lot easier. Everyone on the team was friendly, knowledgeable and autonomous in their roles during the day.
How do you think working on projects like this benefits you and your development?
Throwing myself into anything 'live' is always good, as you have to think on your feet regardless of how much planning you put in. It is always good to get out of my comfort zone, meet new people and perhaps learn some new skills along the way.
We often like to think music and sound can help drive change in the world. How do you think this project achieves that?
The project shows the world that incredible things can be achieved through the power of music, cooperation, collaboration and love.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, when is the next one?