The Newcastle University Music Studios recently hosted a very well attended event as part of the regional Ladders course coordinated by partners Generator and This is Creative Enterprise (TICE). Two celebrated Electronic Dance Music (EDM) producers provided workshops in their respective genres of House/Ambient and Drum and Bass organised by Sam Burt, TICE music mentor also Newcastle University Alumnus.

Newcastle University Alumnus, Drum and Bass producer James Smith has been extremely successful, with 50 releases over the last 15 years, He started his stellar career in music at events in Newcastle University Students Union, when he was still a student. In addition to his career in EDM, he also set up his own Agency, Evolution Artists, with a roster of 32 artists, running events all over the world.

A further workshop was led by successful EDM producer, DJ, and freelance sound designer, Johnny Phethean. Johnny produces different styles of music, releasing some of his dance-floor productions across vinyl and digital formats through house/techno/electronica labels based in London, Brighton, Newcastle and overseas.

The Newcastle University Music Studios were a fantastic venue, with large monitors enabling the audience to clearly see the producers using the software, so that James and Johnny could provide production tips and insights into highly complex techniques, drawing on their expertise and vast experience.

Newcastle University UG student Daniel Caplin said, ‘I found the workshop very informative and well organised. It was interesting hearing from two producers who used very different styles in their work, and I really enjoyed the experience.’

Megan Savage ICMuS UG student and TICE Intern commented: “The masterclass was a very rare opportunity for creative individuals to gain access to the minds of exceptional professionals who have had huge success in the music industry. Participants gained in depth understanding which they could apply to their own craft.”

Founded by Newcastle University Alumna Jenny Barrett, This is Creative Enterprise (TICE) is a national award winning organisation which gives High School students insights into a career in the creative and digital industries. Ladders is a new project in collaboration with Generator, Youth Focus NE and Foundation Futures open to young people aged 18-24. James Smith expressed his view that “We are very lucky in the North East to have an organisation like TICE which can provide young people an insight into the inner workings of the music industry, helping aspiring musicians and entrepreneurs to get started in the business. It is great to see Newcastle University’s Music Department working with TICE to make these opportunities available to students.”

If you’re interested in the next series of Ladders: