Junior Luke Garrison first tried DJing during the summer of 2017, when he had the idea to mix two songs together and see what would happen.
“I think it was ‘In Too Deep’ by Blink-182 and ‘Levels’ by Avicii," Garrison said. "I looked it up on SoundCloud and nothing like that had existed before. And mash-ups like those are pretty common on SoundCloud, so I just made it on Garageband and I did it in a day and got it to where I wanted it to sound.”
Garrison has always held an interest in electronic dance music, but this was the first time he ever mixed his own music. Afterwards, he bought himself a DJ turntable. Since then, mixing music has become a favorite pastime of his.
About two weeks ago, Garrison decided he wanted to form a club on campus dedicated to DJing and EDM.
“It would be really cool if the university had a space where people can listen to different electronic music tracks,” Garrison said. “I thought it would be great if I could try and share that experience with more people, not just my friend circle but get other people in on it as well.”
In terms of making his own electronic music, Garrison was inspired by a course he’s currently taking, entitled “Any Sound You Can Imagine: Recording, Transforming, and Organizing Sound” with Christopher Chandler.
In this general education course, students learn techniques and tools to organize sound in unique and meaningful ways. This was Garrison's first step into the world of production.
“So far we have learned about taking audio,” Garrison said. “Say if I tap the table and the mic picks it up, [Dr. Chandler] taught us how to make that one noise into a whole beat and mix it around so it can go deeper or higher-pitched.”
Chandler believes that his class is useful for students because it teaches them to be more aware of the sounds around them and consider them in a new perspective.
“There’s so many kinds of music out there that incorporate non-traditional sounds, or sounds you wouldn’t consider musical,” Chandler said. “So it gets students to at least investigate a little bit more into the sounds that are always around them and see how they might consider more deeply what their essential qualities are and bring those things to the studio.”
Chandler’s course helped Garrison learn more about the possibilities of composition and how he can incorporate this element into his club. Chandler has also agreed to act as the adviser for the group when it’s established.
While Garrison has not yet started the organization, he is currently in the process of working with the Center of Student Involvement and already has big hopes for his club.
“What I’m hoping to provide for the campus is a space where people can share new songs, talk about rising trends and artists in the EDM community,” Garrison said. “I think we’d also have some type of charitable cause that we would raise money for because I feel like to really succeed at this school and do the right thing, having a charitable cause is always the move.”
Garrison has discussed his idea for the club with his friends, his fraternity brothers in Lambda Chi Alpha, and others who have expressed an interest in EDM or DJing. Garrison created a group chat for those interested in joining and it currently consists of 40 members.
Junior Michael Paul, Garrison’s fraternity brother and a potential member of the club, said that although he did not have DJ experience, he believed this club would be a great opportunity to learn and grow his music repertoire.
“Whenever I need music recommendations, I always know that Luke Garrison has them because he’s just very knowledgeable about electronic music, and music in general,” Paul said. “I’m hoping that through this club I’m going to get a lot of different perspectives about what good music there is to listen to and branch off from there, and also learn about mixing and gain a greater appreciation for how DJs do it.”
Garrison’s goal is to establish his club within a month, and he said he believed that the student body would welcome the group as an ideal space for electronic enthusiasts and DJ hopefuls.
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