Downrange Telemetrics | Music & Literary

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Downrange_telemetrics.jpg

Downrange Telemetrics | Music & Literary

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Downrange Telemetrics is poet Becca Barniskis and musician Nick Jaffe. They perform their original, evocative, and largely improvisational music and poetry across Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, as well as nationally and internationally, to all kinds of audiences and in all kinds of conventional and unconventional venues.

We are teaching artists because we believe anyone of any age and background can create interesting, moving, and original music and poetry. We see part of our job as artists as providing tools and encouragement to other artists, however new they might be to the art form, and we find the work that student-artists make inspires our own work as artists. We believe that high quality arts instruction and experience should be a part of everyone’s education and life.

Book This Artist

Becca is a poet and performer; Nick is a musician. We have many years of experience working in conventional settings—writing poetry on the page and performing and recording as professional musicians in different genres.  As Downrange Telemetrics we perform more unconventional music and poetry that is largely improvised and doesn't fit any particular genre. The performances are full of characters, stories, music and sounds that aim to give the audience the “raw material” to envision their own “movies of the mind.”  The music is entertaining, challenging, and interesting, but the meaning is not always clear or defined. People of all ages are natural improvisers and children in particular are continuously playing with words and sounds—that’s just part of being a kid. Our improvisational approach to making music and poetry is easy for all audiences to immediately begin using themselves. With a little encouragement and support people can improvise original music and expressive language that paints powerful and interesting pictures for an audience.  Our method of teaching allows learners of all ages to quickly grasp and use key skills and concepts of musicianship, poetic language, critique, revision, and the use of digital technologies.

My students and I really enjoyed working with Becca and Nick on sound in poetry. Students were engaged in the activities and were proud of the poetry they wrote and performed. During the activities, Becca’s and Nick’s manner with students helped them feel comfortable taking risks with their poetry. Students were inspired to use words in new and artistic ways. Becca and Nick also successfully integrated technology with the project. Students continued to work on their projects and similar new poetry projects even after Nick and Becca had completed their time in our classroom.
— Amy Barnes, Elementary Teacher at Nokomis Montessori, St. Paul, MN

Becca Barniskis is a published poet, educator and performer. She publishes and shares her work widely including most recently a chapbook of poetry, "Mimi and Xavier Star in a Museum that Fits Entirely in One's Pocket." She is a co-author with Nick Jaffe of the Teaching Artist Handbook.

Nick Jaffe is a musician, producer, audio engineer and teaching artist. He has produced and performed with a wide range of artists including Common, Dwele, and Ice Cube. For the last 10 years he was chief editor at the Teaching Artist Journal.

Sample Programs: Customizable To Site’s Needs

Performance

Downrange Telemetrics

Nick and Becca perform interesting and entertaining music and poetry.  The performance includes both composed and improvised pieces and often involves audience participation.  Downrange Telemetrics performances are engaging and thought provoking experiences that appeal to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

 

Workshops

Performance and Discussion

- We perform live music and poetry with some audience participation.
- Following the performance we lead a discussion with audience members about the work and how it relates to music, poetry and digital technology.
- This workshop encourages students to experiment with poetry and music and broadens their definitions of both. The workshop also teaches students how to analyze and critique poetry, music, and art.

 

Music & Poetry Improvisation

- We collaborate with learners of all ages in large or small groups to create improvised music/poetry performance driven by the learners’ interests.  They can use instruments if available, or use improvised sound sources (desks, pencils, voice).
- This workshop focuses on improvisation and critical listening as a way to generate poems and music and revision as a way to refine work in any medium.  Participants will create and perform their own original music and poetry.

 

Digital Media

- Students work with tablet or computer based apps like GarageBand and iMovie (or equivalent) to create original works of music and performed poetry. The work can be based on any curricular area that the students’ are studying, or on students’ interests.
- This workshop focuses on basic music and poetry skills, arts integration, and effective use of digital technology in the arts.
- This workshop can be adapted for use in conjunction with academic curriculum (arts integration).

(some tech required)

 

Improvisation & Composition for Student Musicians

- Students currently studying band or general music will explore an improvisational approach to performance and composition.  We explore connections between language and music as an important component of composing, improvising and songwriting.  Students will compose or improvise and perform original music.
- This workshop focuses on basic musicianship; critical listening; ensemble work; self-organization, and arts integration.
- This workshop can be adapted for use in conjunction with academic curriculum (arts integration).

 

Improvisation & Composition for Student Poets

- Students currently studying poetry and/or writing will explore an improvisational approach to creating new poetry.  Students will create and perform original work and will explore the musical and sonic dimensions of poetry. Longer workshops will also explore different means of revising work and constructive critique of one’s own work and that of others.
- This workshop will focus on basic poetry writing and revision skills; experimentation with poetic language; poetry performance; and arts integration.
- This workshop can be adapted for use in conjunction with academic curriculum (arts integration).

 

Residencies

Music & Poetry Improvisation

- We collaborate with students in large or small groups to create improvised music/poetry performance driven by the students’ interests.  Students can use instruments if available, or use improvised sound sources (desks, pencils, voice).
- This workshop focuses on improvisation and critical listening as a way to generate poems and music and revision as a way to refine work in any medium. Students will create and perform their own original music and poetry.

 

Digital Media

- Students work with tablet or computer based apps like GarageBand and iMovie (or equivalent) to create original works of music and performed poetry. The work can be based on any curricular area that the students’ are studying, or on students’ interests.
- This workshop focuses on basic music and poetry skills, arts integration, and effective use of digital technology in the arts.
- This workshop can be adapted for use in conjunction with academic curriculum (arts integration).

 

Improvisation & Composition for Student Musicians

- Students currently studying band or general music will explore an improvisational approach to performance and composition.  We explore connections between language and music as an important component of composing, improvising and songwriting.  Students will compose or improvise and perform original music.
- This residency focuses on basic musicianship; critical listening; ensemble work; self-organization, and arts integration.
- This residency can be adapted for use in conjunction with academic curriculum (arts integration).

 

 Improvisation & Composition for Student Poets

- Students currently studying poetry and/or writing will explore an improvisational approach to creating new poetry.  Students will create and perform original work and will explore the musical and sonic dimensions of poetry. Longer workshops will also explore different means of revising work and constructive critique of one’s own work and that of others.
- This residency will focus on basic poetry writing and revision skills; experimentation with poetic language; poetry performance; and arts integration.
- This residency can be adapted for use in conjunction with academic curriculum (arts integration).