8th Grade Remix Projects

Remixing in media can be a powerful tool for expressing particular ideas, creating new ways of looking at things, and even sharing information.  It is also a powerful tool for distorting information and history, or when done poorly, can make it harder to listen to and make sense of something that should be listened carefully to.

In this project, MELS 8th grade students were asked to create their own remix of audio materials related to the Civil Rights Movement, using their own recordings of freedom songs created in Music as well as speeches they studied in ELA class.  Over the course of the project, were were joined by Didier Sylvain, an electronic music artist who served as an expert advisor.

Below are a number of student projects, along with excerpts from their artist statements.

1. Michael Lebron, "We Cannot Walk Alone"

The purpose of my project was to explain what I think about all the speeches that I used, which were MLK’s speech and Jefferson Thomas’s.  I cut and combined both speeches to create a song that explained my opinion on what I think was the most important thing that they said in each of there speeches... One of the main things that I try too make stand out in my project is that having people there to support you is very important and that we should have unity. This concept relates to the civil right movement because my idea of revolution is similar to MLK’s saying that “we cannot walk alone."

2.  Aaron Ginsburg, "Unspeakable Horrors"
The purpose of this project is too show the hard times of the Civil Rights era and the violence. In my song, I made the voice samples sound scratchy and dirty because it would symbolize the violence and the bad things of the Civil Rights Movement. 

3. Chad Dillingham, "We Shall Overcome for Our Own Lives"
Speeches from the Civil Rights Movement often promoted non-violence in the fight for equality.  People took responsibility for their own lives and fought for their rights. They did sit ins, marches, and boycotts to show that they were not giving up until they got what they wanted.  Some samples are when Obama is talking about how we have to take responsibility for our own lives (it was the main inspiration for the title). Another sample is Angela Davis talking about how she was harassed by policemen and surrounded (talking about the white brutality).


4. Ursula Rodriguez & Kathleen Ortega, "Evolution of a Revolution"
The purpose of our project is to modernize the ideas of the Civil Rights Movement to keep it fresh and make it accessible to a younger generation of listeners. We wanted to make something decades old feel current and relevant. We did this by weaving together clips from the speeches of one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most well known leaders, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with clips from a speech by our current President Barack Obama, showing how their ideas and beliefs about justice and change are similar.... By layering the speech clips over the music in no particular order, we hoped to create a bubble for the audience where time is no longer linear, and the different moments in history are happening everywhere all at once.

5. Shawn Shahid, "Civil Rights Remix"
The purpose of my project is to show the struggle of people during the civil rights movement. My project is related to the Civil Rights Movement because it has samples from a lot of Civil Rights leaders and activists. The samples include parts of famous speeches that these leaders and activists spoke, during the civil rights movement. But when I put them together it tells a story of what they were fighting for, and what they wanted to change.

6. Harrison Dillingham, "Martin Luther King"
The purpose of my project is to show what Martin Luther King did that made him so important. The purpose is also to show what Martin Luther King fought for. It also shows what made others respect him during the Civil Rights Movement.

7. Jody Huie & Julia Chopey, "We Can Stand Up"
The purpose of our song was to highlight the idea of civil disobedience during the Civil Rights Movement. The people believed so deeply that by the method of civil disobedience, justice will come to them. Our inspiration came from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Terrance Roberts and Minnijean Trickey. Terrance Roberts and Minnijean Trickey are two of the students who participated in Little Rock Nine. They inspired us because they persevered through the obstacles to integrate.

8. Kailey Terracciano & Kelly Leung, "We Cannot Turn Back"
The purpose of this remix is to show the goals of the Civil Rights Movement.  Our remix starts with Martin Luther King Jr.’s excerpt from his speech, “I Have a Dream” and he repeats the phrase ‘we cannot turn back.’  This means that in their fight for rights, they did and cannot give up.  One of the Little Rock Nine students, Carlotta LaNier, repeats the phrase ‘to stand up and defend.’  This displays the things they needed to complete in order to achieve their goal of freedom.  Jefferson Thomas, another Little Rock Nine student, repeats ‘we could get along peacefully.’  We used this to display what they planned to reach in their dream of freedom.  Obama says different examples of people struggling in present time.  We used this to show that the struggle is still continuing today.  After this track, is the class performance of “We Shall Overcome,” to show the hope of the people. In addition, at the very end of our remix, Martin Luther King says ‘this situation can and will be changed’ to show the faith that people have about our future. 

9.  Nicholas Bluto, "Never Give Up, Just Push Ahead"

The purpose of my project is to show that there is always hope, never give up. It connects to the civil rights movement because I combine parts from Barack Obama’s speech, Dr. King’s speech, and Jefferson Thomas’ speech. I do this to show the fact of how all three people want us to be equal. Jefferson Thomas talks about “if you give up now, you’re a fool”. I took that loop from his speech to prove that you shouldn’t quit, I also use Obama’s speech and take the clip where he says “we must always believe” this also shows that we have to believe and we can not give up, and then Dr. King’s saying “we can not walk alone”. All of these parts from the speech show that in the civil rights movement you need determination to get somewhere.

Michael Lebron

Aaron Ginsburg

Chad Dillingham

Ursula Rodriguez & Kathleen Ortega

Shawn Shahid

Harrison Dillingham

Jody Huie & Julia Chopey

Kailey Terracciano & Kelly Leung

Nicholas Bluto