A Food Piano & Collaboration Video

This week we’ve gone all out and decided to add food to the mixture of STEM and music. We collaborated with booktuber, Stephen Alff of AlffBooks, to create a food piano.

We guided Stephen along the way to create a food based piano using a MakeyMakey and block programming using Scratch. Check out how we got on.

Alongside making our piano, Vanessa spoke to Stephen about STEM over on his channel.


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Watch Out 2017! Here Are 5 Irish Acts To Listen To This New Year

There’s no hiding the fact that the Irish music scene is blooming with fresh acts in a whirlpool of genres. There’s also little hiding from the statistics showing how little airplay these acts have been getting on our radio waves in the past year.

With that in mind, we beg for more attention to be given to Irish acts in 2017 and maybe less to the Billboard charts. We also cross our fingers that the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA)’s 5 year deal with Official Charts Company UK will make a difference for our artists.

To kick the year off, we have decided to give you five acts that we think will be big this 2017.

Áine Cahill

 

Hailing from County Cavan and with an array of impressive gigs behind her at 21, Cahill combines vivid imagery with classic jazz influences and it is simply beautiful. Her imagery is soul gripping, transporting you into each story told whilst craving a slow set dance in a jazz club.

Whilst we eagerly await an album from Cahill, we are are truly enjoying her current tracks such as ‘The 27 Club’ and ‘Black Dahlia’.

You can now preorder Áine’s upcoming single ‘Plastic‘ (Expected Release 27th Jan).

 

Barq

 

Fresh out of 2016’s Other Voices, Barq are bringing us some powerful melty rock and argosoul. The four piece have been gaining plenty of well deserved attention since their debut release last March and are penned for great things this year.

If you need a soundtrack to dust off your Christmas blues to this new year, Barq have the kick ass mood and the right chords to get you going. With lead vocals from the phenomenal Jess Kav, we can’t wait to hear what they do next (more agrosoul please).

 

The Klares

 

Straight out of their Leaving Cert. The Klares have already been making waves in the indie rock scene, receiving Hot Press’s Big Break School’s award back in 2015. Age is no barrier to their music, with a sound that certainly seems to have matured for a long time already.

We’ve been enjoying the upbeat vibes and the guitar riffs of this Dublin four piece for the past few months and think 2017 will be their year. With a new track due out in the coming months we can’t wait to see some headline gigs from these lads.

 

Wyvern Lingo

 

We can’t get enough of these ladies! This three piece from County Wicklow seem to be producing hit after hit. Their alternative/indie sound is incredibly moving. From tracks like ‘Letter To Willow’ and ‘Running’ to their cover of ‘Left Hand Free/ Don’t Let Go ‘ we inevitably need to sing along. With tranquil harmonies and a sound on par with the likes of Katzenjammer, we think you’re going to love Wyvern Lingo this year.

Although it’s not an apparent goal, these women are empowering the ‘women are in music too’ statement without feeling any need to sell themselves in anything other than musical talent and we love it!

 

Newcomer: Podge Lane

All the way from County Cork, our newcomer choice is folk singer/songwriter Podge Lane. With an EP due out in the next few months we believe that Podge will be one to keep your eyes and ears on.

Influenced by country music and musically moved towards folk and blues under the influence of his audience, Podge describes his passion for experimenting with music as ‘being like a cat with a ball of yarn’.

 


Article by Vanessa Greene.

YouTube Musicians Deserve Better Recognition

Article by Vanessa Greene


December 2nd, clashing with the biggest media event in Ireland #LateLateToyShow, we see UK singer and cover artist Conor Maynard play a long awaited Dublin gig.

Now as someone who is very comfortable with paying as little as €6 for a multitude of talented bands play in Whelan’s and as comfortable with €30 for a headline act in the Olympia, I felt €13 was still a bargain. However ‘Caveat Emptor’ comes into play when the venue is considered, The Wright Venue, Swords.

There are many opinions surrounding the venue, it’s not great, not ideal for live music. I’d like to address the marketing culture of putting gigs on there. I get it, bring punters in early with a DJ and get them bringing in revenue with plenty of drink as excitement builds then introduce the headline act. Everyone does it, it makes sense! But to have a 3 hour 40 minute DJ set and your act on stage for barely 30 minutes, you are having a laugh!

In my case, this almost 4 hours was spent wanting to leave. I don’t really agree with the trend of live music at nightclubs, however, have had wanted to see Maynard perform live for a long time. I stuck it out as my disappointment grew.

Maynard performed very well. With a mixture of originals and covers, from early hits such as ‘Can’t Say No‘ to newer content like ‘Are you Crazy‘ alongside covers of Fetty Wap, Drake and other recent YouTube covers of his. Given the set that I witness, it was good, it was enjoyable. In saying that I’d prefer a set that included tracks such as ‘Royalty‘ and a live band vs a DJ. (This a person who is eager to hear Maynard do an Electro Swing album)

However, I can’t shift the feeling that this is not what YouTube culture deserves. Ever since a young Canadian singer broke into the industry so strongly from the platform, we’ve been obsessed with who’s going to come next. 2009 saw the interest in then 3-year-old channel skillzaisherebooya grow and lead to a record deal. 7 years on, that hype may have changed slightly but regardless of a record label’s backing, Maynard’s success is evidently brought by his own hard work and talent. Now with 3.6 million subscribers and averaging on 26 million+ views per video, Maynard is undoubtedly a YouTuber.

As YouTube and other online video content become more increasingly important in our lives and society why aren’t we supporting the musicians coming offline into decent gigs? I don’t believe it to be worth someone’s time to fly over for short gigs in nightclubs where nobody really gives a damn. If 46 million hits on a single video translated into record sales, it might be a different story.

So what can we do to ensure that everyone gets the chance to walk the same path, of offline support, as acts such as Picture This do following viral success?

Coder Girl Hack Day 2016

This Saturday (15th Oct) we headed out to this year’s Coder Girl Hack Day in DogPatch Labs, CHQ, Dublin. Coder Girl Hack day is run by CoderDojo Girls, T.O.G Hackspace, Coding Grace and the University of Limerick.

Having attended the event in the past, we were eager to find out how good this year was. Needless to mention, Echoing STEM founder, Vanessa Greene, was speaking on a panel during the day. Fun Fact: Echoing STEM was founded from a workshop run at last year’s event.

Many thanks to all featured in this special edition Podcast.

Was The Ghostbusters Reboot Needed?

There has been plenty of criticism surrounding the remake of the all-around classic, Ghostbusters. I for one was skeptical of it, would it live up to the original? will changing the leads genders work? Is a remake needed?

Article by Vanessa Greene


Having finally seen the film I must admit that I now understand why this remake was needed. It wasn’t for the graphics, technology or refreshing the story line, it was the characters. We still lack the presence of strong heroines in the film industry for young girls to look up to. Personally, I don’t see why we aren’t creating more badass female characters all of the time.

As a child I always liked Ghostbusters, it was good. However I never really felt an attachment to it, I could never aspire to be like any of these ‘middle-aged guys with Ph.D.’s’, how could I relate to them? This time around I walked away with a completely different opinion, one that went something like “Can I please be Jillian Holtzmann! like right now!”, an opinion shared with both my sisters.

Admittedly I got slightly emotionally attached to each character as the film went on. These women are epic, realistic, funny, smart, dedicated, the list goes on. It hurts to see the backlash of comments towards the cast, they were perfect.

We need these women! We need our young girls to be able to look up to strong characters in a time when most are looking up to the next Kardashian beauty trick. Ghostbusters did a damn right good job at not stereotyping these characters to ‘pretty skinny blondes’. All I hope is that we can continue to create quirky food loving scientists like Abby, career driven women like Erin, badass inventors like Jillian and intelligent quirky women like Patty.

On a side note, I must admit I did find the reverse sexism of Kevin’s character rather humorous. It definitely highlighted the way we usually see lead females portrayed and I’d like to see that open minds to how ‘stupid’ those stereotypes are.

So regardless of all the disagreements floating around, Ghostbusters definitely gets a thumbs up from me. May we see much more of these strong heroines in the future.