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 andC-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)
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.
“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)
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.
“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).”
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).
“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)
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).
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.
I have recently been playing guitar in the band Yawn, whose founding members Precarious (bass, vocals, guitar) and Sathanis (guitar) have been busy organising recording sessions and live performances, often joined by the amazing Hope Robertson on drums (who is also in the most recent incarnation of Peter Gutteridge’s seminal NZ band Snapper). So far, five single track EPs have surfaced over the last few weeks (all of which are available for free download) with more to come soon. UPDATE: Yawn are also playing at the Crypt Sessions under the St. Mary of the Angels Church, in Wellington on the 9th of March. See you there!