Summer Shake Up
DJ Bigface and DJ Faith Gay
Ballroom Marfa presented the third in its series of DJ Camps, an opportunity for area youth to acquire essential, lifelong party-rocking skills on the ones and twos, the dance floor, in flyer design and beyond. The summer camp was free with breakfast and lunch provided. Students grades five through eight were invited to participate.
This five-day program was a hands-on experience, with students learning directly on DJ equipment and experimenting with mixing songs and sampling music. The classes were designed to engage the imagination of students from all musical backgrounds, and throughout the week our instructors highlighted other aspects of DJ culture, such as dance and art. While getting practical experience on the equipment is a core component of the camp, each instructor also presented DJing as an art form with a rich culture and history, with portions of each class covering the history of the DJ and music theory. During the week, students created DJ personas and designed posters for display at the final event.
The camp concluded with a free public performance by the student DJs also at the Capri.
Bigface served as instructor at the inaugural Ballroom DJ Camp in 2010, bringing knowledge gained through his years as a teacher at Austin’s DJ Dojo to the high desert grasslands. In addition to his experience spreading the DJ gospel with hands-on training, Bigface is known for ambitious parties helmed by DJs and funk bands, also featuring breakdancers, “fire tamers” and acrobats.
Faith Gay was 2011’s DJ Camp instructor, and also works as a visual artist (BFA University of Texas), having exhibited work 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. Her experience results in a uniquely powerful perspective on the art of DJing, as she easily draws comparisons between the practice of cultivating an event’s aesthetic and setting a dance floor into ecstatic motion with the act of site-specific installation.
Generous support for Ballroom Marfa’s education programs is provided by the Brown Foundation Inc., Houston, Texas Commission on the Arts, and Ballroom Marfa members.
Special thanks to DJ Faith Gay and DJ Bigface along with camp organizers Mallory Jones and Reece Brassler, Jessie & Daniel Browning, The Capri, Dan Chamberlin, Marfa Public Radio, Marfa Recording Company and The Big Bend Sentinel.
DJ Camp 2012 poster by Sam Schonzeit.