From doing rhythmic patterns on our laps to performing quirky covers, 26 young musicians were chosen to take their talents to an entirely new level. We’re talking professional recording, digital composition and training to take the spotlight all in the matter of 3 days. This is the Create Stage or in other words, the curtain call for this year’s TICE Music team.

Students had the choice of 3 industry-led projects, each requiring very different sets of musical skills, whether that’d be writing a catchy hook, telling a story or engaging an audience…

The 3 Music projects 2018:

This year, as in previous years we have incredible supporters for each and every project. We simply could not do without them, so a huge shout out must go to Newcastle University, Universal Publishing, Generator and redCola. Also, a massive thank you to Newcastle University Music graduates, Will Vessey and Krzysztof Furgała, and singer/songwriter, Rebecca James, for sharing your talents and helping to create some outstanding work.

“Paul is a very inspirational person who gives us a lot of advice on how to write a good song that can engage the listener” – Jason Sansom, Burnside.

So, please enjoy our student’s fantastic work – a huge achievement and congratulations go out to all of them. Who knows, maybe we can get these tracks in the charts!

Songwriting for the Stars
In collaboration with
: Universal Publishing
Led by: Sam Burt and Megan Savage

Overview: This task is all about firstly understanding your chosen artist – style, genre, lyrical content, their audience – and secondly, writing something that fits. This is a great project if you like to bounce your creative ideas off music that already exists and to be inspired by a well-known singer. You will record and produce your final piece to present to Universal and it will be played at the Final Show.

Head AnR executive Mark Gale from Universal Music gave this advice, “work hard, stay humble, write with soul and honesty.”

Students Work:

Band 1 – Out of Time:

This group were heavily inspired by Mabel’s heavy beats and strong vocals to create something refreshing, catchy and contemporary. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the line ‘tick tock’ pan from left to right on your speakers/headphones – it was incredible to see these students pay attention to these minor details that can inevitably create a positive impact on the listener. The track was fully produced and mixed by two members of the team, Stan and King.

The TICE create stage this year was brilliant, everyone learnt a lot and enjoyed it. The project I chose was out of my comfort zone, as it was a songwriting project in which I had to write for a famous artist which in our case was Mabel. This required music production which although I am very confident with, I had never produced on such a big scale with a full band as we did. The TICE Create stage was extremely challenging but fun, exhilarating and one hell of a rollercoaster! When we first received the briefs, I knew we would have to venture into different genres I thought I would never end up co-producing for.

– Stan Woodward & King David Ike Elechi

Band 2 – Daylight Funk:

This team decided to write a song inspired by the well-known pop star, Olly Murs. It was fantastic to see how well they communicated and tailored their sound to the artist, whilst also keeping the song very relevant to what’s trending at the moment – funk. They created an infectious chord sequence…infectious enough for Olly to use, here’s hoping!

Music for the Movies
In collaboration with:
Led by: Sam Burt and Megan Savage

Overview: You will be tasked with coming up with the music to accompany a blockbuster Hollywood movie trailer (just over 2 mins of music). This project is a good choice if you want to do something that is less traditionally song based. It can contain vocals & live instruments, but you will also record and work with music technology.

Top LA composer Damir Price gives this advice, “a story needs to be told with an intro, a development and ‘back end’. There needs to be an arc to it, created by form and structure.”

Students Work:

The team of two incredibly talented students had possibly the most complex challenge of all – in three days they were taught how to use the software, Pro Tools and with only a midi-keyboard at hand, they decided to create a beautiful trailer piece inspired by The Theory of Everything.

Debut Single
In collaboration with: Generator
Led by: Sam Burt and Megan Savage

Overview: The first part of the project will be focused on songwriting and then you will move towards performance skills, ready to perform at the Final Show.

Ged from Generator gives this advice, “Listen to as much of the varied music you love and try to work out and emulate what it is they’re doing. That will inspire your own ideas. You don’t want to copy other bands excessively, but your own style will be built upon the style of others so it’s fine to embrace that.”

Students Work:

It was important that these three bands built a solid working relationship with one another, as well as establish an aesthetic both through their image and music. From the moment they were grouped up on Day 1, they have worked incredibly hard towards their final performance at Newcastle University Student’s Union and they achieved the ultimate goal – performing like rock stars in front of nearly 500 people. Now that takes some courage!

Band 1: Too Much Theory

Band 2: Yesterday’s Society

Band 3: Raw HemI loved the experience I had received from the create stage. It gave me an insight into the real reality of the musical world. The TICE Create Stage 2018 was brilliant, everyone on the course leant so much, new skills, new friends, and new experiences. To anyone who is thinking about joining the TICE course, I would 100% recommend it as is an unmissable opportunity!

– Stan Woodward & King David Ike Elechi