Looper's Delight Archive Top (Search)
Date Index
Thread Index
Author Index
Looper's Delight Home
Mailing List Info

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: Basic intro (OT)

On Tue, 14 Aug 2001 20:18:06 -0400, Tim Nelson <tcn62@ici.net> wrote:

>I think there's some validity to that last part, but to me it's a matter 

No it isn't. ;)

All your examples have displayed a fundamental prejudice: you think
sample-based music by definition consists *exclusively* of "play this,
then play that". This is most certainly not the case -- all the sampled
material I use is augmented by layering, effects, and original material.
I'm well beyond the radio-DJ "crossfade into another song by someone
else" style. Some people aren't; a friend of mine bought a CD by Richard
"Humpty" Vission on the way to my wedding which essentially consisted of
several one- to two-minute remixes crammed on the same CD and presented
as a single work. Some stretches were cool for as much as three minutes;
others just plain sucked. Vission certainly does have fans and sell CDs,
though. Evidently, this is good enough for a lot of people.

But that's NOT what I'm doing. Your examples trivialise my
work/art/product (choose the term you find most acceptable). I'm playing
"The Sound of Music" and "Rawhide" at the same time through an effects
rack *while* I solo over it. I'm sawing the statues up and nailing them
all together in a new configuration with unframed paintings covering
their faces and religious bumper stickers over their unmentionables. I'm
serving pesto tortellini between two all-beef patties with special sauce
on a black forest torte bun topped by an artichoke heart and jalapenos.
Whether any of the above is art can certainly be argued, as I've said,
but you have to admit it *is* creative. Even if it sucks. (And that food
example certainly isn't something *I'd* want to eat.)

>while parody may certainly be entertaining,
>it's ultimately not as satisfying as an honest, original artistic
>expression, and doesn't stand up to repeated listening. 

I'd like to take exception to the implication that all sample-based
music is parody, and neither honest nor original. I won't further
belabor that point, but your thinking seems a bit constipated here.

Samples are a tool. I don't *need* them to make music. I have a
perfectly good rack of synths and effects boxes, and the Strat next to
my desk isn't there for show. (If it was, it wouldn't be left handed.)
If I don't have what I need, or what I have isn't *quite* what I need, I
don't have the slightest problem with firing up the console and laying
it out. But if I've already *got* what I need and have to choose between
using a sample or using an imitation, I'll use the sample. Consider the

Original, composed of self-produced loops from live play:


Original, composed of self-produced loops from samples:


Original, composed of stock loops from sample CDs:


Original, sample-based with added original material:


Derivative, sample-based with added original material:


Original, *completely* sample-based:


The interesting thing is how opinions differ on the material. The top
three are the tracks that have garnered the most praise from other
musicians. But the *bottom* three are the ones that have garnered the
highest download counts from the general public! While musicians
constantly whine about how sample-based music isn't "really" music,
people certainly seem to like listening to it. 

And besides, if your art doesn't shock people, maybe it's not *really*
all that original. ;)

>>My take: it doesn't matter how
>>long the sample is. It matters what you DID with it. If you didn't do
>>anything, it's theft. If you did something interesting and unusual, it's
>But a whole VERSE?!

It was the natural endpoint of the vocal. Nobody would think twice if I
sampled eight measures of a drum beat or a melody. Sure, it evolves over
those eight measures, that's the natural loop point, no problem. Why are
lyrics any different? After all, I'm often told by other electronic
musicians that vocals are only another instrument, organised noise which
should be used just like a guitar or a synth -- rather than, say, to
communicate some kind of *meaning*.