December 9th, 2011


Friday, Dec. 9th

Today was the last day of GSW in 2011, and it was a great one!!

We met on an hip, industrial block of Bushwick Brooklyn where there are as many artists toting laptops as there are trucks toting products. We found the source of Boars Head deli meats! The studio was behind a non-descript, tagged up door, next to a very 'Euro' cafe called Cafe ....

All 12 students managed to arrive within a 30 minute window of our original meeting time which is a huge improvement from day 1 of GSW. Hooray for timeliness! We waited for Farbeon and Yako, the sound engineer, who promptly led us up the two flights to what at first appeared to be an old factory space, and then we realized it was actually the home for 4 guys, a gallery space and a recording studio.  We spread out in the enormous gallery space and the students got right to work writing, practicing, collaborating and editing. 

For the next 6 hours, each student had their chance in the studio at least once. Some found it very natural and freeing behind the Mic and others - who are regularly very outgoing - became shy and self conscious. Some had experience in the studio, while others were taking their first shot at it. With the knowledgeable and patient coaching from both Farbeon and Yako, each student eventually produced verses, outros, intros, doubles and refrains. It was absolutely amazing to watch their experience behind the Mic. It's clearly a transformative process to formulate one's thoughts, feelings and perspectives into words and then record those words to a beat.  The students were thrilled.

And, they were extremely patient. And supportive of each other. And, so positive about the entire experience. After sandwiches, we took a break on the roof to catch some air and sunshine and the students of course saw it as an opportunity for a photo shoot. Waves of rooftops layered their photo shoot backdrop, with the peaks of Manhattan's tallest buildings punctuating the horizon. An interesting New York landscape for a very interesting group of young people.

GSW will continue and expand in January 2012 as we invite more CTA and CSN students to join the workshops. 

Also, the Bronx Berlin Connection Exchange Program will officially begin with a select group of Fall 2011 GSW students participating.

More details to follow in the new year.  Happy Holidays!