Young Musicians Encouraged to Sign-up For Music Hothouse 2017

Young Musicians Encouraged to Sign-up For Music Hothouse 2017

The Nerve Centre’s popular Music Hothouse returns from April 17 -21 for budding young musicians aged between 11 and 18.

The intensive five-day music creation and performance workshops, led by renowned industry professionals will push songwriters’ creative talents to the max and hone the creativity, composition and collaboration skills of musical masters and novices alike.

Participants will develop musicianship, form bands, jam, create, perform with like-minded young individuals and get a kick-start into the music industry.

Apply via this link

We caught up with previous participant Caolan Austin, Engineer, Mixer and Producer at Small Town America Recording Studio, about his experience of taking part in Music Hothouse.


What did you enjoy most about Music Hothouse? 

Having a full week of playing in a band, going to workshops, meeting a bunch of new people and learning a huge amount from those who were already doing this as a full-time job was incredible. Some of the mentors involved that year were members of my favourite bands at the time such as Tony & Rory from And So I Watch You From Afar, Cahir from Fighting With Wire, people who have since gone on to make a fairly big footprint on the music scene here and were quite inspiring to watch over the years that followed. It made it seem completely possible that I could make a career out of music at that point, which was an idea I hadn't really entertained before. 


What did you learn? Was it a good introduction/gateway into the industry?

Absolutely. I'd already been playing in bands for a year or two before that so gigging wasn't new to me, but working with a completely different bunch of people as opposed to my best mates was really interesting. Learning to take inspiration from someone else's interests and understand their point of view in the context of a band was brilliant and a skill that's really helped me over the years.


How did Music Hothouse prepare you for work in a professional recording studio?

It prepared me in a bunch of ways that I didn't realise at the time. The skill of understanding people's backgrounds and ideas and how that relates to where they come from musically has pretty much been paramount to what I do on a daily basis. If I haven't met the band before and they come in looking to make a record a certain way, I have to be able to ascertain that what they're looking to do will work, how I can make that idea become a reality and how we can go about things in the best way possible to try and create something that everyone involved is really proud of. 

Having played in bands from that point onwards, that's given me more of an understanding of how a band works so when I'm producing a record as opposed to engineering one, I'll sometimes have to assess whether the part being played is actually ideal for the song. That idea of playing for the song, playing your role - identifying that through being in the Hothouse was a massive help.

It also gave me a head start because I met a bunch of people through that process that I've gone on to work with again - a lot of people that were in other bands in the same year or mentors that taught me have come to record at the studio or have given me advice on something. It’s really just a big community and when you become part of that, it's brilliant.


Tell us about some of the recordings that you have been involved in at Smalltown America Studio?

I get to work with bands from all over the UK on a daily basis with some of the more mainstream stuff getting played on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 nowadays. One day I can be recording with a band from England, the next day I can be mixing something that was recorded in Glasgow, the day after I could be producing a track for a band who live 2 minutes down the road. Every day is different which is always a buzz!
I've just finished an album with a band from Brighton called GLOO which was really cool. They're ridiculously tight and we tracked thirteen songs in less than 6 days. I'm mixing the new Lost Avenue EP at the moment too; we've made 3 records together over the last 2 - 3 years so it's cool to watch them grow as a band. It can be quite hard to pinpoint specific projects I've worked on as I feel bad in case I leave anything out although off the top of my head, I really loved working on the latest Junk Drawer & Sister Ghost EP's. (I actually met Shannon from Sister Ghost through the hothouse - we were in the same band which is pretty crazy!). I also recorded & mixed some of the songs on the upcoming Joshua Burnside album which I'm incredibly excited about - i think it'll be such a good record - he writes absolutely stunning songs!

What would you say to someone who'd like to take part but hasn't yet registered for the next Hothouse?

Just to get involved and give it 100%. It's an incredible opportunity - you meet a bunch of new people, make music with them, learn in more ways that you can think of and have the best time doing all of that. Oh, and try to remember everything you're taught - the people teaching you have gone through everything that you'll probably go through as a musician coming from the same background - it's all mega useful!



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