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November 12, 2014 •• Mitrovica Rock School
Going unplugged

Is it easier to write songs in an acoustic setting, or do you prefer a full electric backline?

From October 25 to November 1, Mitrovica Rock School bands Schism and Astral Dreamers experimented with this question. With one acoustic and one electric rehearsal every day for five days, each band wrote and recorded a new song and prepared for two concerts. The bands used an old conference room for the unplugged rehearsals and presented their songs to each other for feedback.

Unplugged presentation, with peer-to-peer feedback

Unplugged presentation, with peer-to-peer feedback

The Mitrovica Rock School introduced the “unplugged track” as an official part of its Ambassador Band Program because we hope that it will help students in the song-writing process, stimulate new, creative arrangements and encourage home recordings.

The bands wrote new songs, made acoustic arrangements of their existing songs and gave an unplugged concert in Skopje’s Old Town. The week ended with a big electric concert for a bus load of Mitrovica visitors and a local Skopje audience in roll-and-roll venue Bravo.

And the answer? To each his own. Astral Dreamers wrote a beautiful acoustic song and ended up recording an electric arrangement. Schism on the other hand needed a heavier electric sound for its new alternative rock song, and tuned it down for the unplugged gig.

Schism performs unplugged

Schism performs unplugged

Curious how they sound? Here’s a teaser for Astral Dreamers’ upcoming music video:

The 2014 Winter School brought together mixed bands Schism and Astral Dreamers, whose members cannot safely meet in Mitrovica. Their trainers were Sjoerd de Buck of the Fontys Rockacademie plus three members of mixed band The Artchitects, who now work as teachers at the Rock School. Schism and Astral Dreamers will perform in Berlin, Germany, in May 2015. We’re hoping to bring the Artchitects to Bremen, Germany, in November 2015.