Collage of musicians performing music in a from-a-distance setting using virtual platforms to appear on their screens

Spotlight: Orchestrating A Musical Supercut Online

December 4, 2020

The Spotlight Recognition Program celebrates the ingenuity demonstrated by our organizers as they adapted to extraordinary circumstances to connect with their audience.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing interviews with this year’s Spotlight award winners. Recently, Ontario Culture Days’ Kevin Valbonesi sat down with Eddie Fiore from House of Chords, the creative mind behind the musical supercut “Come Together.”

Pulling together audience-created clips, Eddie and his team edited together the vocals and instrumentals from all these submissions into one cohesive musical mashup.

Q – Tell me a little bit about House of Chords. How did it get its start?

Eddie – After teaching guitar and drums for a number of years, I wanted to open up a facility that wasn’t a traditional conservatory with the white walls and treble clefs.  My focus was to do customized lessons for all ages and styles as well as group programs like bands, glee and summer camps so musicians of all ages and skill levels could get involved.

Q – I see that you offer recording services as well. Do you feel like that played a role in developing Milton’s music scene?

Eddie – Milton had a fairly small music scene when we opened and started offering recording services, and it’s definitely grown over the last 10 years.

We have a lot of students from our lessons & camps that want an opportunity to go into the recording studio.  They can record vocals alongside an instrumental track, record their own songs as young songwriters or simply record a drum cover if they aren’t in a band but want the experience.  It’s a great way to put practice into play and see what you are capable of. They realize that they can sound just like their favourite artists on iTunes and Spotify so it’s super inspiring.

One up and coming artist we have had the privilege of working with and watching grow is Gavin McLeod, a local Milton musician who started with lessons, moved into our band program and eventually recorded with us starting when he was just 10 years old. He’s a guitarist-songwriter, working primarily in the blues/rock genre.  One of his bandmates Patrick Mills also started with us around age 9 and has gone through the ranks too.  Both of them now instruct with us and were the ones leading this activity.

Q – Going into the Ontario Culture Days festival, what inspired your approach to creating the Come Together experience? It’s a serious step up from a live streamed concert or traditional music video.

Eddie – Well, we sat down and did a lot of brainstorming. We saw people doing really interesting things with music on Youtube and Instagram, and we knew that we had access to really talented people, so we could make something work. We had the right expertise on hand and enough time to kind of just dive in and bite off something big.

It was definitely tough. We gave people pretty clear instructions, but not everything we got back was exactly what we needed. But we had talented people here who could work with what we had and we’re super happy with how the final product turned out.

Q – A musical supercut is a fun way for theatres, concert halls, and the like to reach an audience. Obviously it’s not the easiest thing to do, so what’s your advice for anyone looking to make their own supercut?

Eddie – Just use the technology you have available to you. Always ask for help and make do with the resources you have. You’re often surprised with what you have access to, you can actually do quite a bit with not too much.

Q – Why did you decide to open up the creative process to the audience instead of just delivering the final product?

Eddie – Culture Days is supposed to be interactive and where you can learn, so we wanted to take the opportunity to educate people, even if they were doing this alone. Again, if you can use the tools that are available to you, it’s quite amazing what you can come up with.

Q – Given the changes COVID-19 has forced on everyone, I’m curious about how you’ve made adjustments and if you can see these changes having a long term effect on the music industry.

Eddie – I think it’s forced people to get tech-savvy and think outside the box about how they can reach their audience. We’re incorporating Zoom and online classes, so we can reach people all over the planet.

I do think everybody does crave in-person instruction, and digital doesn’t quite capture that, but going digital is a good alternative for now if people can’t physically be there. People still look for that one on one interaction, and at least we can give them the next best thing through digital instruction.