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Re: popped by my old studio and found these...

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:34 am
by Hybrid88
Hi Miles, I'm sure you don't remember me but back in 2005 I dropped by on a trip organised by my school with the Jazz Ensemble to have a look around the place and see how you do things. Let me just say that that day left a lasting impression on me, and I'll never forget the sound of the saxaphone when you cranked it through the 480l - beautiful stuff.

..and wow on the EMS and Sys700, please tell me those things gets used sometimes, surely in these economic times most places of education would at least want to get some value out of 110k worth of gear instead of just sitting there in box's unused? :|

Re: popped by my old studio and found these...

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:58 am
by Chris H
There has been a lot of pressure placed on the VCA over the past few years with financial cuts to the arts and what has been seen as an attack on VCA by Melbourne Uni. From what i gather It's a minor miracle the place is still in operation.Myles you probably know the situation in much more detail than I do. How are things panning out for the VCA?

Re: popped by my old studio and found these...

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:06 am
by mylesgm
Hey that's cool! Which school were you from and who was your teacher?
In regards to the equipment most if not all has spent most of its life being no more than decorative or on storage. Quite simply universities (esp. Those that focus on arts are so heavily underfunded and resourced that doing more than basic teaching is very difficult. Often private schools have better funding/facilities than public universities. Thanks to impressive ministers like Brendan Nelson and John Howard.

How are you finding Tasmania as a place to create? I grew up there but couldnt find enough work to make ends meet.

Re: popped by my old studio and found these...

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:26 am
by mylesgm
@Chris. Too be honest I don't really know what is happening at VCA. I worked there solidly from 2003 till 2008 but left when the Melbourne Uni merge began to happen in earnest. I was doing a session there last week because they have an excellent sounding large orchestral room and discovered that nothing had changed in the studio since I left other than to store equipment there! I do know that they are trying to refurb the studio and do more with it but I dont intend to be involved nor do I know any of their plans. There are a number of excellent staff there but funding hampers so many great ideas... The brendan nelson review cut the VCA funding by nearly 50% in one year from an already too small budget.

Re: popped by my old studio and found these...

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:36 am
by Alistair
I finished there just as the changeover happened (we must have overlapped for a year or so Myles).

As Myles said, Nelson drastically cut funding to VCA around 10 years ago- Melb Uni actually stepped in to help with funding, but as with anything that funding came with big conditions. VCA is no longer independent, it is now "the Faculty of the VCA, Melbourne Uni" and there have been considerable cost cuts. A few teachers have been cut, but mostly the casual instrumental teaching staff has shrunk. There has also been a huge rise in full-fee students as opposed to HECS to cover costs.
I did the Improvisation course there, and the changes had less effect on us than on the Rep (classical). As far as I know, the Rep course has been combined with the Melbourne Conservatory, a move which angered both sides as they taught in a very different way. The Creative Arts faculty at Melbourne Uni was also shutdown about 4-5 years ago in favour of visual art at VCA.
There was talk of introducing 'breadth' (arts, politics, history etc) subjects into all VCA degrees, therefore making them less specialised. I personally don't like that idea, but hey, NYU, Berklee and most of Europe do it so that's not without precedent.
It seems to still be changing though, so it's hard to say what will happen over the next few years. Unfortunately Melb Uni seems to think there is a way to make money out of arts education, and without US style costs (eg $40k a year for students) I don't see how that is possible.

On the plus side, theres a lot of great music staff at Monash Uni and NMIT these days who seem to be designing really cool, practical courses. RMIT seems to have fantastic creative arts and filmmaking courses too, which cool staff and incredible facilities.
I guess time will tell what works out.

Re: popped by my old studio and found these...

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:13 pm
by Manning
mylesgm wrote:How are you finding Tasmania as a place to create? I grew up there but couldn't find enough work to make ends meet.


Gosh, how many Tasmanians live in these parts? FWIW I grew up in Devonport, moved to the US for a decade in the mid 80s, came back to Hobart in the mid-90s to do some uni (played in Ozlingo, later called Lingo).

Re: popped by my old studio and found these...

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:15 pm
by mylesgm
When I was studying at VCA one of the classes was 50% tasmanians and one of the productions I worked on was 100% tasmanians... There's a lot of us around and not many of us in tasmania.

Re: popped by my old studio and found these...

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:10 pm
by Hybrid88
mylesgm wrote:Hey that's cool! Which school were you from and who was your teacher?

Was St Patricks College and my teacher was Miss Mowat, she's still there, your dad Monty actually conducted us once in the concert band, we sucked but still it was a privilege. :)

mylesgm wrote:How are you finding Tasmania as a place to create? I grew up there but couldnt find enough work to make ends meet.

hmmm, good and bad I'd say. As far as local musicians go and the vibe it's pretty cool and unique, especially Hobart, but I'm into Electronic music and down here it's basically rock/indie/acoustic and that's about it. I don't think most people here even know what a synthesiser is let alone how to use one. Melbourne is waaayyy more into the modern side of things but I'm just not into big cities.

mylesgm wrote:...There's a lot of us around and not many of us in tasmania.

Yes exactly, a lot of people who are actually serious about it move to Melbourne, it's just the way it is - anyone actually good enough to make it in the industry doesn't have a future here - hate to say it but that's been my experience. But in my case keeping it as a hobby is perfect, I get the best of both worlds.

Re: popped by my old studio and found these...

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:27 am
by NYMo
Add me as another Tasmanian...actually conceived in NZ....born in Tasmania :))

Re: popped by my old studio and found these...

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:39 pm
by Hybrid88
Actually Nymo, how do you like the Sunshine Coast coming from Tas? Been thinking that might be a nice place to live being not too big.

Re: popped by my old studio and found these...

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:40 pm
by NYMo
Too hot up here(I left tassy in 1982)
Looking forward to moving back there one day and live at Park Beach !