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Music Collective Partners With Library To Hold Free DJing Sessions

Eileen Angulo
Lisa Bella Donna teaches a workshop on loop pedals such as Earthquaker Devices, the Moog Mother 32 and the Korg ARP Odyssey on Dec. 12, 2018.

The local music collective gfx is hosting a series of workshops for those interested in DJing and mixing music. The free monthly sessions provide audio equipment and industry expert demonstrations through a partnership with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and others.

Gfx has been around since 2017, according to visual artist and DJ Julie Mallis, and gives women and non-binary people a chance to network in a field where they are often under-represented.

“We came together to support one another and to provide a platform for each other and to have fun and learn and mentor each other,” Mallis said.

Each first Monday at the Ace Hotel in East Liberty, gfx presents “In The Weeds x Workshops,” where people interested in electronic music production or audio mixing can hear from industry experts and try out equipment.

Carnegie Library has 49 pieces of gear available for check-out, including synthesizers, effects pedals and beatmakers. Gfx members say utilizing that equipment and making the sessions free help remove the economic barrier many face to entering the music production field.

Gfx co-founder Lauren Goshinski said there’s no pressure for participants to perform, but it’s a great opportunity to network.

“People of all walks of life, all identities are participating in these workshops,” Goshinski said. “I think that’s been a really great way for people to get to know each other in this community.”

The first session of the year takes place Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.
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