The Digital Music Lab
The Digital Music Lab at Music Works Northwest has become the destination for student musicians to come and expand their musical vision into the digital realm. For more than a decade we have offered instruction to students from a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities on how to bring music technology into their creative life.
In the summer of 2007, Clark Grogan and Rob Frain created the Audio Recording Summer Camp in Issaquah in a space that was part-time music studio and part-time storage area. With their own laptops, some student computers, and a lot of enthusiasm for contemporary electronic music, they set out to share that enthusiasm that they had for integrating these modern tools into the music making process. The camp attendees were largely students who were involved in private lessons, and who demonstrated an interest in writing their own music using software such as GarageBand, Ableton Live and Reason.
In 2010, Music Works Northwest expressed interest in having them bring their fledgling program to the school and integrate it into their extensive summer music camp offerings. Shortly thereafter, we received several grants, a generous new equipment donation from M-Audio corporation, uncovered some old keyboard controllers, and were able to configure four complete computer music workstations.
Over the last 10 years the camps and classes have impacted hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to be professionals in creative fields such as film composition, audio engineering, web development, and many others. More importantly, our students have learned to look at their musical experience and themselves in a whole new way. Because these tools allow the musician to extend their creative reach, our students have discovered that they can be more than one instrumental voice. They can be the whole orchestra! And with that realization a whole world of possibilities opens up.
In the fall of 2019, we were fortunate enough to receive another generous grant from 4Culture. The additional funding will allow us to expand to six computer workstations. It will also afford us the ability to upgrade keyboard controllers, add more software options, and add headphone mixers. With a recent expansion of faculty and class options, we are poised to make an even greater impact on the Bellevue Arts and Culture scene.
The new Current concert series promises, not only to be a great addition to Bellevue’s Arts Calendar but to raise the profile of the program and the work being produced.
Clark Grogan | Director/Co-Founder
Rob Frain| Director/Co-Founder
Henry Webster | Instructor