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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:32 pm 
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Ed Mann Percussion Workshop

Friday, October 23 from 9:30 a.m.–2:45 p.m.
Victoria Composite High School (10210–108 Ave.)

Percussion workshops, music experimentation, leisure expressions through music, found objects, and healing through gong vibrations are some of the issues that Ed Mann has explored during his four-week visit in Edmonton. Mann is a legendary musician who has had the opportunity to perform with other well established musicians such as Kenny Loggins, Rickie Lee Jones, Andy Summers, and has even performed with the Saturday Night Live band.

But perhaps the most notable artist he has worked with is Frank Zappa. Mann performed and recorded as a percussionist, synthesist, electronic sound designer, vocalist, and programmer for various periods of time between 1977 and 1988 in electric band, small ensemble, and orchestral environments. Mann is said to be the most recorded musician in Zappa's catalog — no small accomplishment considering the length of and variation in Zappa's career.

As a sound designer, Mann has created digital content libraries and programs, and scored a variety of independent films. He's an award-winning drummer and has released five critically acclaimed CDs of original music. He's an active composer of music and sound and performs internationally as a performer, sound artist, consultant and workshop facilitator. He's toured with the Canadian aboriginal trio, Asani, and produced their latest CD entitled Listen, to be released this fall.

Ed Mann was brought to the University of Alberta by Dr. Karen Fox and her leisure-driven research team from the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. By bringing Mann to Edmonton, Dr. Fox wanted to raise awareness about the critical need for offering "freely chosen" music programs. Mann’s idiosyncratic facilitation techniques enable him to connect with youth who are considered on the edge, marginalized, and at risk.

When engaging youth with music, Mann’s philosophy is about bringing the rhythm and beat out of each individual through jamming. His focus is on the processes of allowing that organic beat to emerge while maintaining a sort of musical dialogue between each person. This creates a very open, freely chosen leisure space in which youth are able to recognize and learn about their musical skills in a laid back environment. Furthermore, Mann allows each individual to feel present but not at the centre of attention by wandering in and out of musical dialogues, sitting beside the youth, and randomly picking up various instruments to play.

At times, these percussion workshops may sound like pure havoc, but Ed Mann reassures everyone that it's just an experimental form of organized musical chaos. It's this aspect of leisure that is still unfamiliar to many leisure practitioners and scholars. For many leisure enthusiasts, Ed Mann’s presence here at the University provokes questions regarding leisure expectations, values, and ideologies.

“We instinctually want to structure leisure experiences for youth,” claims Dr. Fox, “but these types of structures also prevent leisure practitioners from reaching out to youth. We are either structuring leisure too much or we don’t structure it at all. Ed is helping us learn to find that balance in both our academic and personal leisure experiences.”

Every leisure practitioner, enthusiast, and scholar who are searching for new ways of engaging youth should consider Frank Zappa’s popular phrase: “The mind is a like a parachute, it only works when it’s open.”

Mann will be facilitating percussion workshops at Inner City High School, Boyle Street Community Services, and Amiskwaciy Academy. He has also lectured to various departments at the University of Alberta on unique topics such as “Found Object Percussion Groups: Expression and Leisure” and “Vibrational Sound Experiences: Gongs, Healing, and Leisure.” In addition, Mann presented at The Yoga Loft and at the Institute of Cross-Cultural Health and Healing, and will be doing a final percussion workshop this Friday at Victoria Composite High School.

http://www.gateway.ualberta.ca/articles ... inner-city

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