From two Greek words meaning light and drawing – drawing with light. The first photographs were taken in the early part of the 19th century. It is this pioneering art form, that Sayche’ Durant-Edmead has chosen to express herself in.
Under the influence of her mentor, Ishmael Jackson, a multi- media specialist, she is learning the craft of the photographer. As well as this tuition given at the C.D.I. Youth Project, she’s signed up for a media/photography course at her school – St.Gregorys.
She spoke to me of her desire to specialise in colour, rather than black or white, or sepia. To focus on distinctions in variety of tone.
Further to this, she stated a preference for studio settings and portraiture. The dream of doing celebrity shots, for magazines and newspapers.
Sayche’ was the official photographer at the C.D.I. residential last summer; as well as at the recent re-opening of B.L.A.P. (Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground). She has had a photograph published by Lissan, an Ethiopian arts and culture magazine and Daily Info, a popular Oxfordshire publication, based in Oxford city.
We look forward to further evidence of her developing skills; of portraits, published photographs and exhibitions.
Where as most young people I’ve spoken with, have chosen music or dance, as there favoured mode of expression; she is quite unique, in the choice of photography. A pioneering youth - a young lady of light.
An all-rounder, who excels in football, rugby as well as in the gym. A young man who is looking to attain that same level, with the challenge of boxing.
He shares the same hero of the ring, as you and I; who began because of that bike. Jamal Williams time between the ropes has began, due to the chance of education. With it has come new possibilities. Five months into a three-year Boxing and Education scholarship, he’s decided he’d like to be a boxing coach. New dream, alongside that of living through music. A fan of soul and bashment, who writes what he raps, building his own rhythms as well.
But boxing has definitely given him an additional boost. A regular and punctual attender, at the time-tabled sessions. Making me think, that there should be more scholarships like this on offer – nationwide. More experiments in education.
Jamal deserves this opportunity. I can see him as a boxing coach. For he has the desired combination - of general popularity, as well as sports excellence. A lover of sports, who will pass that passion on, in his role of instructor. Pointing other young sportsmen, along the road to potential fulfilled.
I look forward to the day, when Jamal, now aged seventeen, gets the chance to share his joy of sport; as the respected , inspirational, Coach Williams.
Who do you think about, when you contemplate great producers? My mind immediately goes to Clement Dodd of Studio One, as well as Berry Gordy of Motown.
Just like they built up their roster of stars: Dodd with Bob Marley and Burning Spear, Gordy with Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye; Kurt Smith has began to work with his peers - the young luminaries of the Oxford scene, such as Sheldon Cadogan.
True Music is the name of the production company and label, that seventeen year old Kurt has set up, to channel his creations through. Which will have established itself somewhat, by the time he completes his music media course, at Oxford and Cherwell College.
He says he enjoys every aspect of the productions; from arranging the session, the marrying of lyric with music, to the engineering, as well as the editing.
When listening to Kurt talk about music, you sense his determination and feel his vibrancy. You get the impression that he’ll continue to go forward. Taking True Music, as far as it can go; remaining true to the reason why.
Sheldon, a star in the local constellation, has been a lyricist since the age of thirteen; a kit drummer since twelve. He cites UK figures such as Hunt and Joe Blax, as influences in his music.
This youth of sixteen years, a construction student at the aforementioned college; enjoys the chance to construct rhythms, to weave in and out of his words. He hopes that his need to express himself, will ignite other young people to do so; whether through music, drama, painting or sculpture.
Knowing that Sheldon is a drummer, I look forward to the day, when he presents me with a recording of a song, with him on cymbals and snare.
Thinking again of great producers, I think of King Tubby, the inventor of dub. Then my thoughts stop at the name Willie Dixon, that icon of blues music. But it’s crucial that we take time, to celebrate our local heroes. To recognise the trying men and to salute them now.
Kurt Smith and Sheldon Cadogon, we say your names with respect.
I like Will Smith because he does all sorts of things.
He inspires me with his spectacular films, rapping, producing and singing. Because it has action in.
Will Smith was born in September 25, 1968 in Wynnefield Pennsylvania. He started his acting career in a television sit-com called Fresh Prince of Bell Air in which he starred in for 6 years from September 10th 1990 to 1996.
Here is a list of a few hit movies:
• Bad Boy,
• Men in Black,
• I Robot,
• Enemy of the state
• Independence Day
His music career started as a mc of a hip hop duo - dj Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.Dj Jazzy was a childhood friend, who used the turntables and was also a producer, alongside Ready Rock C, whose real name is Clarence Holmes. He was the human beat box. They were a hit on the radio for their radio friendly songs like “Summertime”
In 1990 Will Smith was nearly bankrupt, which led him to being sighed by NBC, which started the Fresh Prince series off and also his acting career; where he dreamt of being the biggest and best movie star in the world.
Here is a list of a few albums:
• And in this Corner
• Code Red (dj Jazzy & the Fresh Prince)
• Greatest hits (d Jazzy & Jeff & the Fresh Prince album)
He has had major success in all areas of his career; for example as a rapper, (just the two of us 1998). Also, he has acted in ‘I am legend’. Another thing is his family, who are also successful in life, like his son, who starred in ‘Karate Kid’. Plus his daughter got the hit song “Whip my hair”.
As the summer approaches, bringing with it the Olympics Games; we who love table tennis, look forward to observing the expertise of the Chinese – their on-going, pin-pong supremacy.
In the meantime, we continue to marvel at the skills of Fabian Audifferen. This young man rightly deserves the nickname ”Champion”; defeating all-comers - youth of all ages and adults too. Regularly winning the C.D.I.table tennis tournaments, which are open to any young person, who walks through the door.
This fourteen year old, who is working towards G.C.S.E. awards in Maths and French, is a pupil at Wheatley Park School. The school has outdoor table tennis tables, so he gets to indulge his passion on a daily basis, during the times of break and lunch.
Further to this, he has become a member of the Kidlington club, which plays in the Oxfordshire table tennis league. Playing against adults as well as youth. He’s obviously thriving, on the coaching received at the club
I’ve noticed his willingness to advise and assist the novices, especially the younger ones. Happy in victory, he is also a good loser, on the rare occasions that he doesn’t win.
Propelled by his passion for ping-pong, it is a real highlight to see this young man at the table; his skills in full flow, a wonder to watch.
Until the coming of Zhang Jike, the current world champion to the Olympic Games; we in the Oxford area, will find pleasure, in watching the brilliance of Fabian Audifferen.
Confessing my low aptitude for the mysteries of mathematics, I’m always impressed by those who have a passion for it. One such person is Zacchaeus Hyde-Thomas, a.k.a. Zacc. Where I get tangled up in logarithms, he has the know how, to unravel all the enigmas.
With this capacity for numbers and formulas, he is taking A’ Levels in Economics and Maths, as well as a BTEC in Sports. After his sixth form time at the Oxford Spires Academy, he hopes to study to be an accountant.
During a recent conversation with him, it was thrilling to hear him express a certain desire; that following the qualification award and relevant experience, he would like to put a few hours aside each week, to use his expertise, in the service of a local project. Helping with the annual budgeting and the bids for funding. Or in the educational area, giving much needed numeracy support. Helping to light the way, from the dark room of incomprehension.
It warms the heart always, when young people make positive decisions about their neighbourhood, as well as themselves.
So it was really uplifting to talk with Zacc the other day. To listen to his dreams, and his confident stride towards them.
With the setting up of this youth link, I hope the articles published here, will not only boost the young writers of both countries and their creative endeavours, but also generate a more honest, balanced accounting, of their respective societies. To dispel the negative media onslaught of Africa, seemingly believed by the majority here; as well as showing a more informed picture of Western culture, especially of those from the minorities, for those in Ethiopia.
That by sharing their literary snapshots, they can get a better, realistic picture, of each others lives: from a lens of their own making. Creating windows of clarity, to smash the walls of stereotype.
Where they can come together, to learn and to laugh. To celebrate each others creativity.
I hope that they will favour this podium; taking the opportunity, to speak and listen to each other; to experience the joy of sharing.
For my arts award I had to learn a new skill. I’ve always been interested in music and I have previously written and recorded lyrics to beats before. As there are not many producers around I decided that I’d like to learn how to produce my own beats, because this help me to develop as an artist. It is my ambition to do a course in music at college and then university.
I discussed my ambition with my youth worker, and he helped me to find a teacher. The teacher is called Joe Froud, he is a member of the dubstep duo ‘Document One’. He has also been in numerous bands, spanning different genres of music. Joe and Document One are currently signed to Borgore records, and they will soon be releasing their debut EP. They have been played on Radio 1; 1xtra and have done several remixes for artists such as: Moby and JLS.
On our first session we laid down the beat, this included:
o First we opened up a musical software programme called reason. This is used on computers and recreates a technological music studio including drums, bass, pianos, and guitars along with samples and synthesisers.
o After the programme was opened we wrote the drumbeat using redrum machine. The drum beat was taken from my own sample library and I loaded it into the folder button above each channel.
o We used a simple midi controller keyboard and we triggered the samples and recorded them in real time.
o Moving on, we right clicked to display the available instruments in a drop down menu and chose a malsrtom synthesizer.
o Once we loaded the synthesizer, we clicked the folder symbol to display the preset sounds and flicked through them whilst playing the midi keyboard to audition the sounds.
o After finding the sound, the decision was made to use it. We repeated this process several times until we had all the sound we wanted to use.
On our second session we produced the chorus.
o We controlled and used one of the synthesizers with the midi iceyboard to write the chorus and melodies.
o Once we were ready to record, we armed the appropriate track by clicking on the iceyboard symbol for that instrument on the left hand side of the reason sequencer.
o When the red square appears round the keyboard symbol, the track is recorded using the same techniques we did for the drums we laid down the chorus quantised them.
Apply effects and EQ
o Once we finished writing and recording the time tune, we adjusted the levels of each instrument using the mixer in reason so they were more even.
o Using the mixer we also EQ’d each sound to loud by right clicking on an instrument we were able to choose from the reason FT and insert them on that particular synthesizer. We applied distortion, reverb and delay to some sounds to make them sit better in the mix.
o Once we finished recording the beat and I was ready to record my vocals, we exported the beat. We did this by setting the left and right locations in reason to the beginning and end of the beat in the sequencer, clicked file > export loop as audio file and chose wav format.
o We then loaded logic pro up and imported the wav file to an audio track, and added another audio track to record the vocals.
o We then plugged the mic into input 2 on the sound card and set the audio track input source to input 2 on the sound card in the mixer view of logic.
Recording the vocals
o We recorded the vocals using the channel we had set up before the session, and we repeated the process above for every additional vocal track I wanted to add.
For those of you who are interested to know and learn more about the music creating software “Reason”, click on the YouTube logo below to watch tutorial videos from the creator company of this great creation tool: Propellerheads from Sweden.
I went with the leys CDI to see the stage show “UPRSING” by Alex Wheatle on the 21st October 2011, at the playhouse in oxford. This was to celebrate black history month and also promote his book.
He told the story made it funny and sung during the scenes. One thing I found really funny was when he talked about getting with a girl then finding that her dad was the head of the church and he would have no chance with her.
The show was about the Brixton riots in 1981 and how his life changed after being a part of the riots and getting caught, and the time he spent in jail with a Rastaman whom encouraged him to read and helped him turn his life around. One quote stuck in my mind was “Don’t mess with the Rasta”. I liked the fact that the show was something that had a meaning to the story and I could benefit from the moral of the story. I disliked the fact that we missed the start of the show, but I can guess the start was about him introducing himself and what his show was about. I thought that when he did the scenes in the jail there could have been jail scenery as other shows have curtains that draw back between scenes.
After the show he did a question and answer session, My friend asked if he still stays in touch with the Rasta man and he replied yes and he sends him his books.
The group I was with were lucky enough to be allowed on stage with him and have our photo taken.