Marfa Dialogues

DJ Camp 2011

18 July-22 July 2011

DJ Camp with DJ Faith Gay
18 July to 22 July 2011
2:30 pm to 5:30 pm
The Capri
Open to all Marfa-area students, 7 and up

Listen to the radio interview with DJ Faith Gay, Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 10am. Faith will be a guest during the live weekly interview program Talk at Ten on KRTS 93.5 FM or streaming live at

If you are or know a student in the Marfa area that has ever wanted to learn to DJ –- now’s your chance. Sign up today for the Ballroom Marfa 2011 DJ Camp. For the second year, Ballroom Marfa will present its free, week-long DJ Camp beginning next week, July 18 to July 22, 2011, from 2.30 pm – 5.30 pm daily at the Capri event space in Marfa, Texas.

This five-day program is a hands-on experience, with students learning directly on DJ equipment and experimenting with mixing songs and sampling music. The classes are designed to engage the imagination of students from all musical backgrounds, and throughout the week our instructor will highlight other aspects of DJ culture, such as dance and art. While getting practical experience on the equipment is a core component of the camp, the instructor will also present DJing as an art form with a rich culture and history, with portions of each class covering the history of the DJ and basic music theory. During the week, students will create DJ personas and design posters for display at the final event.

Our instructor DJ Faith Gay brings with her a strong musical background plus expertise as a visual artist. Faith received her BFA from The University of Texas in 1995 and has exhibited widely at D Berman Gallery, Austin, TX; Austin Museum of Art/Laguna Gloria, Austin, TX; McClain Gallery, Houston, TX; and Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington, TX.

Faith believes that music is a social instigator –- and its power to inspire, direct, and incite made it impossible for her to ignore the call of the DJ booth. She recalls her beginnings as a DJ: “I bought my first turntables and mixer with no idea how to perpetrate the basics, but I knew how to drop a needle on a record, and I had music that I adored and friends that wanted to hear it!” Her love of music and art have been so intertwined for the last 12 years that she finds it hard to separate where the DJ starts and the artist begins –- both personas revolve around the same themes: rhythm/pattern/color, cultural evolution and consumption, a DIY ethic, and creating environments. For her, designing and adjusting musically to an event, club, or crowd takes just as much subtlety and orchestration as a site-specific installation. In describing her style she notes, “I always combine the newest progressions of electronic music with music I have always loved, while following the technology that gives me the most interesting tricks to manipulate, re-appropriate, and blend sound.”

Faith has big plans for this summer’s Ballroom Marfa DJ camp and looks forward to teaching DJ basics as well as offering art projects directly inspired by each student’s developing sound style and DJ persona. This year, students will use a large homemade Spin-Art machine to decorate salvaged vinyl albums and anything else we can fit in the machine! Faith sums it up best: “Ultimately we’ll be experimenting and getting comfortable with the technology, sharing music, bustin’ out our best dance moves, and learning how to speak DJ!”

The camp concludes with a free public performance by the student DJs on July 22, 2011 from 5-7 p.m. at the Capri event space.

DJ camp is open to any Marfa Jr/Sr High School student, and there is no fee to attend. Email, or call 432-729-3600 for more information.

    Listen to the Talk at Ten radio interview with DJ Faith Gay on KRTS 93.5 FM, Marfa Public Radio, which aired July 22, 2011.

    [vimeo 26981701]
    Watch a student learn how to spin at Ballroom Marfa’s second annual DJ Camp in July 2011!

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    Watch students learn how to scratch at Ballroom Marfa’s second annual DJ Camp in July 2011.

    Support for this project provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Special thanks to DJ Faith Gay and camp organizers Susannah Lipsey and Callie Meeks for all of their time and efforts.