As part of the Red Bull Music Academy’s Road to Weekender, Liveschool has curated a series of lectures around Australia this August, headlined by musical director, producer and drummer extraordinaire, Joel Farland.

The lectures will cover songwriting, production, and insights into turning studio tracks into engaging and all-encompassing live sets.

Joel will be joined by a special guest in each city, each sharing their own experiences creating electronic music; Paris-based composer/vocalist Claudio in Perth, award-winning songwriter Elizabeth Rose in Melbourne, forward thinking pop producer May Lyn in Brisbane, and the unstoppable Alice Ivy in Adelaide.

Ahead of the festival, we spoke to Joel and Claudio to find out more about their work, and what we can expect from the lectures.

Joel Farland

Peking Duk rehearsal with Joel Farland / Vera Blue

What are you going to be talking about at Road to Weekender?

I’ll be talking about how I put together a live show, going through how we got from ideas to show with some of the artists I’ve worked with as a musical director and a drummer. From the recent mainstage Splendour in The Grass show with Peking Duk, to Hayden James, Miami Horror, Jess Kent supporting Coldplay, radio shows with Alison Wonderland, Carmada and Elk Road. Plus a couple more.

A lot of your work centres around translating electronic music from the studio to the stage, often for large spaces and for large audiences. Is this a challenging process?

Definitely. Making a show is a little similar to making an album, but for the stage.  Not only is it playing the musical parts live, you’ve got the added logistical challenge of making sure all the tech going on is working perfectly. Then there’s front of house mix considerations, radio or TV mix considerations, monitoring, crew, production, and it all happens in real time. Everyone has to be on their A-game for that 60 minutes, so it’s a thrill to be a part of.
Above all, imagining the show from the perspective of the audience is the most important. I spend a lot of time in the early planning stages of a show focussing on the question, “What do we want the audience to see, hear or feel?” Then the follow up question is often – “How on earth are we going to pull that off on a festival stage with a 20 minute changeover, in wind and rain…”

What are you working on at the moment?

Hayden James’ new live show and planning the upcoming festival shows with Peking Duk.


What are you going to be talking about at Road to Weekender?

There only ever exists two creative problems – either you have too many ideas or you don’t have enough. I’ll be discussing my favourite ways of how to deal with either.

Your practice centres around channeling honest and authentic emotion into music. What is it about electronic music production in particular that helps you do this?

Before anything else, it was the complete independence. The not needing of anyone else to create worlds of sound, exactly as you desire. Within that, even simple and seemingly trivial things, like the possibility of going into headphones for example, can contribute to accessing your rawest & most authentic flow state.

But beyond that convenience, the reason why I (mostly) choose electronic music to do that is probably best summed up by the late Japanese godfather of synths, Isao Tomita, who said “The musician, unlike the painter or the sculptor, has never been able to search for colours other than those that were given. But with the synthesizer, we have a palette comparable to that of a painter. There is no rule that dictates how this palette ought to be used.”

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m finishing up my EP which is due out on the 13th September. I’ve been illustrating an image for every track (like, literally/visually). They’re all intricate/geometric illustrations – It’s been a real trip learning how to translate the sound into image by my own hand and in some cases, to translate the image into sound. I’ve just been exploring different representations of the same inspiration & watching how each medium helps me understand & execute the other better. I’m really looking forward to releasing it all.

Event Details

These lectures are all free events, all you need to do is RSVP.

For all the info, head over to Red Bull Music Academy