Posts Tagged ‘Avant-Garde Music’

“John Cage – 4’33″ [May '68 Comeback Special RECON]” (Video Art, 2010)

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

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Reconstruction of John Cage’s 4’33″ using 68 YouTube videos of people performing the piece on a variety of instruments. Part of the ongoing RECON project. Many thanks to Rhizome.org and C-Monster for featuring this work recently.

“There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.” (John Cage, Experimental Music)

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“MEND” (Tao Wells and Dick Whyte, Supercomposition, 2010)

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

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The concept is simple, take two bands which are characterized as opposed (culturally, personally, ideologically) and superimpose a song from each band on top of one other (mending the rift). Concept developed by Tao Wells and myself one weekend in New Plymouth and eventually spawned my Britney Spears Best of Noise solo project.

These are not ‘remixes’, though we are interested in their relation to remixing. We have simply laid two songs on top of each other (a rhizome, a remedy) in the hope that there will be moments of connection between the layers. The points at which these two layers touch (caress) offer moments of “mending.” While mixing makes use of the cut, mending makes use of care.

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“Britney Spears + Pierre Schaeffer = HOT” (Rhimix, 2010)

Friday, October 1st, 2010

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Minimalist musical mashup superimposing Pierre Schaeffer’s avant-garde composition “Cinq Etudes De Bruits: Etude Violette” over top of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” Schaeffer is a composer and musicologist who was instrumental in pioneering musique concrete as an art form. Part of the ongoing Britney Spears Best of Noise project. The first 8 tracks of this project were released on the concept album Britney Spears + Noise = HOT. Download the full album for free (in FLAC or high quality MP3) on my Bandcamp Page.

“So these were the three circumstances that compelled me to experiment in music: I was involved in music; I was working with turntables (then with tape-recorders); I was horrified by modern 12-tone music. I said to myself, ‘Maybe I can find something different… maybe salvation, liberation, is possible.’ Seeing that no-one knew what to do anymore with DoReMi, maybe we had to look outside that… Unfortunately it took me forty years to conclude that nothing is possible outside DoReMi… In other words, I wasted my life.” (Pierre Schaeffer)

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“Britney Spears + Noise = HOT” (Concept Album, 2010)

Friday, October 29th, 2010

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Concept album mashing avant-garde music (Sun Ra, John Cage, The Dead C, Pierre Schaeffer, Arthur Doyle) with Britney Spears songs. Download the full album for free (in FLAC or high quality MP3) on my Bandcamp Page.

1ST EDITION: 20 copies with hand lettered covers were given away free at Frederick Sound and Light Exploration Society art fair on October 9th (also featuring The Unknown Rockstar, The DollPumice, Campbell Kneale, Matt Whitwell, Bryce Galloway, Drawing Silence and Claire Harris, among others). 2ND EDITION: 20 copies featuring the cover above were ‘sold’ for gold coin donation at the MyGalaxi art market on October 29th and 30th. 3RD EDITION: 10 copies were given away for free at Big Dick’s Best of YouTube screening at the NZ Film Archive. Subsequent editions have been produced for Wellington Zinefest and general distribution.

Part of the ongoing Britney Spears Best of Noise project. There is also now a torrent on Pirate Bay. Update: Volume 2 OUT NOW!

“These are not remixes, as such, though I am interested in their relation to remixing. All I have done is superimpose well known avant-garde musicians over top of Britney Spears songs in the hope that multiple points of connection might be established between the two layers. I call this a rhimix. Remixes are are based on the “cut” (melding several tracks together, producing one). Rhimixes are based on the “caress” (mending several tracks together, producing a multiplicity of points at which they touch). The remix = juxtacomposition (comprised of different samples). The rhimix = supercomposition (comprised of different speeds).”

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“Britney Spears + Henri Pousseur = HOT” (Mashup, 2010)

Monday, January 10th, 2011

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Minimalist mashup superimposing Henri Pousseur’s “Scambi” (Exchanges) over top of the Britney Spears song “If You Seek Amy.” Henri Pousseur was an experimental composer whose tape work “Scambi” was particularly unique, in that it uses what Pousseur called an ‘open form’, meaning that it is meant to be assembled and reassembled in infinite variations (prefiguring concepts like ‘open source’ and ‘creative commons’). For this reason multiple versions of “Scambi” exist (the version I have used was Pousseur’s 1957 mix).

From the 8 track concept album Britney Spears + Noise = HOT Vol. 2 (mashing Britney Spears songs with noise and avant-garde musicians). Listen or download the full album for free from Bandcamp. Part of the ongoing Britney Spears Best of Noise project. If you enjoyed this you may also want to check out Britney Spears + Noise = HOT Vol. 1 (including The Dead C, William S. Burroughs, Arthur Doyle, Nam June Paik, Pierre Schaeffer and Sun Ra).

“I think composition will not always be the production of closed and finished objects which one can buy and sell… We will have to think increasingly in a collective way… In fact this has always been the case.” (Henri Pousseur, read more)

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“George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People” (SuperConcept Album, 2011)

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

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Concept album consisting of two minimalist compositions using a sample from Kanye West’s Runaway, inspired by Steve Reich’s experiments with ‘phasing’. In the technique of phasing a repetitive phrase (or loop) is played on two musical instruments in steady, but not identical tempo. At first the two layers appear to be in time with one another. However, because the two instruments differ ever so slightly in speed they gradually go out of “phase” with one another creating, at first, an echo effect and then a doubling of notes, before eventually phasing back in time with one another. Steve Reich explored this technique with the use of live instruments, but it can be effectively manipulated through sampling and remixing as well. Download the complete album (in FLAC or high quality MP3) on my Bandcamp Page.

Track 1: Rruunnaawwaayy: Supercomposition for Two Pianos (36 minute phase exploration of a 38 second piano sample from the hip-hop song Runaway by Kanye West). Track 2: Rrruuunnnaaawwwaaayyy: Supercomposition for Three Pianos (a second 36 minute exploration of the same 38 second piano sample).

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TWO NEW ALBUMS: “Supercomposer Vs. Unknown Rockstar” + “ESPlunderphonics” (Supercomposer, 2012)

Friday, November 16th, 2012

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Two new Supercomposer albums just out! The first is a series of remixes of the improv-noise musician Unknown Rockstar, in which I reduce each of his albums to a single track of music, through speed manipulation and layering, released on Postmoderncore Records last month. Free to download and listen here.

The second is a series of supercompositions made from free 30s song samples on the ESP Disc website (for those who don’t know, ESP is one of the preeminent free-jazz labels of the 20th century). Based on the following simple instructions: “1) Open an album at random on espdisc.com. 2) Start playing the first free 30s song sample. 3) After approximately 10s start playing the second 30s song sample. 4) Repeat process until the source material is exhausted, while recording the outcomes.” It includes remixes of Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Charles Manson and Billie Holliday (among others). Have a listen to Supercomposer’s efforts below – or try making your own! Free to download on Bandcamp.

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NEW ALBUM: “This Is Your Brain On Drukqs” (Supercomposer, 2013)

Monday, January 20th, 2014

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kanye west aphex twin supercomposer drukqs

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So, it’s been a long damn while since I updated but it’s not cause I haven’t been making things – life just got in the way. So many new things to post, so I’ll just take my time and get them up as they occur to me. For now, here is Supercomposer’s 2013 album, Volume 2 of my ongoing plunderphonic collaborations with Kanye West. Like the previous volume, George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People, this features two extended minimalist piano compositions made from samples used by West on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. This time I have repurposed Aphex Twin’s Avril 14th, (an amazing track in its own right) which West used in Blame Game.

In other news YEEZUS is fucking HOT. Don’t let anyone tell ya any different. I mean, come on, even Bruce Springsteen loves it. Check his performance of Blood On The Leaves from Jools Holland if you don’t believe me. I mean, as always, Kanye’s lyrics about women are problematic to say the least, but I have never been one to write something off solely because of this (the entire history of white male rock music, anyone?). That’s not to say I don’t think his representation of women shouldn’t be critiqued either – it should. Nuff said.

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