The Bay Area music scene has changed the way music is consumed. Besides the music and the artists, there were and are a series of people behind the scenes who made these huge changes in the way the business of music has been conducted. I’m going to introduce some of the new breed of movers and shakers in the new music technologies
The movers and shakers are the faculty and staff at Ex’pression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville. As CEO Dan Levinson, a musician himself, explains, "This is a collaborative effort of everyone at Ex’pression College." As we all know, digital technology is currently at the forefront of music and audio/video art. This accredited college offers the opportunity for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in Animation & Visual Effects, Digital Filmmaking, Game Art & Design, Motion Graphic Design, Interactive Audio, and Sound Arts.
Ex’pression faculty are experienced in their respective fields, and the equipment and studios at the college are periodically updated to make sure they meet industry and market demands. This college has over 100,000 square feet of professional-grade studios, computer labs, and classrooms. The students receive "hands-on experience" on the same digital tools they’ll be using after graduation. The Bay Area — with Pixar, Dreamworks, and Industrial Light and Magic — is recognized as a hotbed for the digital arts. Ex’pression College also has an Industry & Career Services Department that organizes guest lectures and workshops with local industry members and employers, which create more opportunities for Ex’pression students to network, learn valuable lessons and tips from industry professionals, and better prepare themselves for the job market. It’s imperative for the contemporary artist to know about digital technologies, so with schools like this in the Bay Area, we can be assured our area will continue as a center for the digital arts industries in the foreseeable future.
There is another interesting benefit for the local music scene. Ex’pression College is always searching for local talent to participate in recording sessions and music video projects — and the participating bands get to keep/use the finished product! Yes, this is truly a win/win for our art community. The artist gets the benefit of the facilities (Green Screen; Live Venue featuring Meyer Monitoring; Yamaha consoles; and a full multi-track recording room plus video switching in HD, for webstreaming and live concert video production), studios (featuring consoles like the SSL 9000, SSL 6000, Neve VR, AVID D-Control and AVID D-Command; and the ability to record to 2" Analog Tape, ProTools, or both simultaneously), tons of outboard equipment, professional monitoring, and microphones (API, Chandler, Neumann, Sennheisser, Shure, Genelec, ATC, Summit, Avalon), and a completed project. In exchange, the Ex’pression student gets some real hands-on experience. If you are interested in getting some studio time, check out their website: http://www.expression.edu/sound_arts/bands_wanted/.
The college has an intensive schedule, and the students can earn a bachelor’s degree in just under three years. This is the future, and it’s here now in the Bay Area.