By Fiona Haze
Go to iTunes, search up “Zimplicity” and subscribe!, says Mr. Zurfluh.
Director’s Desk is an idea inspired by the podcast Tiny Desk created by NPR. Ms. Bechdoldt and Mr. Taylor instigated the idea and according to Mr. Zurfluh, Directors Desk was their ‘brain child’.
The basic idea of the Director’s Desk is that students are brought in to perform behind the desk exclusively and are recorded live. They either perform an acapella song or sing and play an instrument. Mr. Zurfluh says that by doing this, you take music talent and place it in a normal setting. This truly brings out the performers real talent. Therefore the audience sees the aspects that usually aren’t shown when an artist is performing on stage.
The fact that the performers only get one practice take also plays into this. Their second take is the performance that gets published which results in the recording not being heavily rehearsed, Mr. Zurfluh said.
The set-up is also rather simple: Mr. Zurfluh has a camera that can be controlled by his iPad as well as a podcast microphone.
At the moment, the Director’s desk has three episodes: “Tomorrow Never Came” performed by Despina (12) and Arsenij (12), West Side Story, performed by all of the actors performing in the song “Tonight,” and Six Feet Under by Jihoon (10) and Carolina (10).
All performances so far have been music written and composed by other artists but Mr. Zurfluh hopes that in the future, students will perform their own originals. He also hopes that a student would be willing to create a finalized logo for the podcast. For how often the podcasts will be released, he hopes that this can happen once a week. For his last perspective on how the performances could be developed for the future, Taylor Swift was used as an example. Recently on Tiny Desk, she performed songs from her new album “Lover” but also “talked around them”: she discussed her journey in creating the songs meaning when, why and how she wrote them. Mr. Zurfluh hopes that this is something that the Director’s Desk can adapt as well.
Mr. Zurfluh hopes that by other’s displaying their talent, more students will be inspired to participate.
Mr. Zurfluh recently created an iTunes podcast called Zimplicity and Zimplicity Director’s Desk. From Mr. Zurfluh’s own podcasts, students and parents can listen to everything from ‘Grade 5 Explores Leadership’ to ‘TEDGlobal 2017 Complied’. To find it, you can either access it through iTunes by searching “Zimplicity” or go to the ASW webpage and find the “Director’s Desk”.
Overall the student experience seems to have been positive: Arsenij (12) states that it felt like something new and unique that has never been done before at this school. Even though he wouldn’t necessarily want to participate again unless he really felt strongly about a song because he is more fond and used to live performing (at Coffee House, for example), he encourages others to take part in the Director’s Desk. Arsenij says that is fun, and you get to sit on the director’s chair. What more can you want?