Kevan Funk’s short film toys with faith, the Free World and a matchbox budget
FOR METRO VANCOUVER NEWSPAPER
A Fine Young Man, directed by Kevan Funk, is a dark comedy that has garnered critical acclaim at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), winning the award for Best Short Film in Calgary.
Director Kevin Funk (second from left) talks with actors on the set of A Fine Young Man.
Set during the Cold War era, the film flirts with the fine line between faith and the danger of personal convictions.
My intention with the film was to start a conversation, rather than giving an answer,” Funk said in a video Skype interview. “Most importantly, it’s about belief. When you have blind faith in something, it can be very dangerous.”
Funk, 24, is a fourth-year student of Film, Video and Integrated Media at Emily Carr University of Art & Design. He was born in Vancouver and raised in Banff, Alberta.
With an early interest in the performing arts, Funk later developed a talent in photography which lead him to pursue a career in film. Since 2002, Funk has been involved in numerous independent film projects.
Funk is currently seeking an international opening for A Fine Young Man to showcase his talents.
There’s a lot of humour and unexpected things in life,” said Funk. “It seems more of an appropriate fit, dark comedy, in terms of telling authentic stories.”
Check out the original interview on the Block Magazine website, available here. Rad photo by Evaan Kheraj
“Sadness, heartbreak, longing, all those things are in the music, of course. That’s what pop music is all about.”
“You look familiar,” she says. “I know you from somewhere, right? We’ve met before.” Lead singer and organist Victoria Legrand might sound seductive and gruff when she sings her dreamy, lovelorn tunes, but in the green room she’s relaxed and humble, walking towards me wearing retro blue denim and a smile that could melt butter. For Baltimore-based duo Beach House, it’s broken hearts and soulful crooning on the album, warm fleece and kindness for a stranger. “Actually, I’d love to see you down some of this tequila,” she says, pointing at a full bottle on the table.
Guitarist Alex Scally sits down, brushing back his thick black locks to reveal he’s shaved his beard, but left a rather dapper-looking mustache behind. “Get tanked!” With only a couple of hours to settle in before blazing the stage at Vancouver’s Rickshaw, Legrand and Scally are relieved to be heading home soon after a tour that sold out at nearly every show in the country. Their third full-length, Teen Dream, released by legendary Sub Pop Records, has garnered much critical acclaim despite the pressures of their successes with 2008’s Devotion.
Sitting pretty on a rather tired leather couch, Legrand and Scally are something adorable together. Instantly becoming friends when they met back in 2004, they finish each other’s sentences, poke fun and make the other shriek with laughter. “I have to play off my own stupidity sometimes,” Scally says, while Legrand scrunches up her face at him. It’s easy to mistake a faint trace of love lingering between the lines, but their musical synergy is actually more platonic than that. By listening to songs like “Zebra,” “Turtle Island” and “Gila,” it’s pretty clear that their brains are made of the same blood and wires. They’ve also got the same penchant for thrift store shopping and retro instruments.
While Devotion and their debut set in motion their classic dream-inspired pop sound, full of whimsy and often sprawling instrumental truths, their latest album drifts into more melancholic realms. “This record, more than anything, has been the product of time,” says Legrand, leaning in. “We feel things more clearly now. When we were writing those songs, we became a lot better at creating more physical spaces out of our sound.”
As thoughtful and shy as they may sound on their albums, Legrand and Scally are both visibly disciplined, yet bubbling with extroversion. Abstaining from the tequila and beer they so graciously offer, they perk up and explain the joys of late-night Macgyver reruns. “We don’t get a chance to watch television on tour, but we’ve watched Macgyver. What an idiot,” Legrand says. “No way, Macgyver was killing it,” Scally defends. Unable to decipher a joke from a truth between these two, Legrand admitted to practicing levitation to prepare for a show, while Scally frequently entreats himself to tantric sex with strangers. “It just helps to reset my mind,” he says with an inscrutable smirk.
At the core of it, Beach House is all reverb-soaked, hauntingly beautiful soundscapes, not unlike a striking dream you can’t recollect even though the feelings still move through you. “Sadness, heartbreak, longing, all those things are in the music, of course. That’s what pop music is all about,” Legrand says.
In 2006, Anders Trentemøller established himself as one of the greatest electronic musicians in Europe with The Last Resort, his ground-breaking debut. Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, the multi-instrumentalist producer has been successful on the international scene with his remixes and original work, whose sonic formula is rich, complex and hauntingly beautiful. At the same time, Trentemøller doesn’t get caught up in the stereotype of the brooding Scandinavian artist, as his obscure appetite for remix materials spans the gamut of America’s last four decades in rock and pop music, making his collective sound the ultimate mixtape. His forthcoming album Into the Great Wide Yonder, is a layered soundscape as existentially profound as its title alludes to, dominating the interplay between dark industrial production, melody-rich shadows, and estrangement from reality.
You’re quite the master of contradiction. Some of your work is very dark, industrial, and dubby, but other tunes are very mellow and chill. How do you reconcile these different creative forces in your music?
For me, this has always been a challenge, but music is the best way to work with those connections and moods. To make something beautiful, you need to put something in that surfaces the second time you listen to it. If you sense something more spooky, or if you recognize spooky layers lying underneath, that is something that has always inspired me. It’s hard to just make a happy-go-lucky sound and concentrate on one layer, so it’s always a challenge to mix moods and styles, but it’s something I need to do.
Are there criteria for what you choose to remix?
For the last two years I have only said yes to a small amount of remix requests, because I was pretty sure I didn’t want to end up like a remix artist only, so generally, I was only saying yes to artists who have something special about them. But the most important thing I look for is uniqueness either in the melody or the vocals.
Tell me about the music video for the single, “Sycamore Feeling.” The music is very haunting, and the video carries that through. How did it come to be?
It was made by a Danish video artist named Jesper Just, who has been doing some amazing work in and out of Denmark. I saw his work and was very inspired by the way he creates a Hollywood look but then he mixes the whole gender issue and it’s really interesting. Actually, the way he works with visuals reminded me of David Lynch, that kind of strangeness. He doesn’t normally make music videos, so I just gave him free reign to do whatever he wanted.
Does that visual style reflect your music in any way?
What I like about Lynch is the many layers in his movies, the multiple stories that are going on at the same time. That is what I’m trying to put into my music. Hopefully people will go back to the album and hear that, find small details that weren’t so noticeable on the first listen. When I listen to albums myself, I like discovering new things in the music you didn’t hear upon the first listen, like multiple stories.
Do you find a difference between electronic artists from the States opposed to European ones?
There’s a more clear difference between musicians from Scandinavia because there’s something of a dark, blue, melancholic vibe. If you listen to artists like Sigur Rós, they have this melancholic hue to them. It goes back to folk music, from 200 or 300 years ago. You can hear that special, melancholic vibe, which is actually really beautiful, more than sad, and it still has a dark vibe. It’s in our blood, in our veins, to make music in these tones. You can really feel the dramatic, Nordic nature of their music and the big open places there. Music creates like nothing else can.
What’s your biggest challenge as an electronic musician?
You have to kill your darlings and don’t complicate things too much. You can do so much with a computer and I work a lot on my own. It’s a very lonely process, and finding the right place to stop is very hard to find.
If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be?
If there was a superpower that could transform the music in your head out to a CD right away that would be fun, but maybe a bit boring (laughter). But I would like constant, creative flow.
Final Feature Submission
DJ Heroes vs. Stephen Harper
It’s a mashup world. Get over it.
My living room is throbbing with the posthumous glory of my favourite dead music star. It’s a mashup party for one. The strained and tortured sound of Nirvana laid against the funky, soft-core porn beat of the Supermen Lovers is streaming through my Internet browser while I eat corn flakes for dinner. French master of mashup Overdub has reinvented and repurposed the meaning of Kurt Cobain’s agony and has turned it into something new and surprising, and, for me, this pleasure is free. If creativity is a battle between the right to create and copyright laws, the remixer is a mashup mercenary.
Overdub isn’t the only condottiere of his genre. Mashups are everywhere today, and litter the streets of human intellectual history. Politics is a mashup. When communism and capitalism collide you get Marxist socialism. Literature is a mashup. Out of post-World War II conservatism, the beat generation was on, and William S. Burroughs was testing out his cut-up technique. Cooking is a mashup that gets better the more mashed up it is. A turducken is a delicious roast consisting in a chicken stuffed within a duck stuffed within a turkey. Someone must have laughed when they invented that mashup.
The bottom line is the mashup is a cornerstone of collective human consciousness. Remix is a recipe for cultural progress. Only now, it’s facilitated by technology, open source software and endless possibility. Truth be told, mashup is going to get even better, because people are creating new software to remix and create entirely new digital sounds, and all of this is available through a simple download. Imagine taking a speech delivered by George W. Bush and mashing it up with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. At the 2009 Vancouver New Music Festival, one artist made a video mashup using clips from Apocalypse Now, where the Americans were bombing Vietnam, and set it to the tune of Julie Andrews singing “The Hills Are Alive” from the 1965 classic film, The Sound of Music. The crowd went berserk. It was irony in the flesh. Two different cultural artifacts were being manipulated to the point of absurdity, but it was as enjoyable as ever. The mashup today is merely the platform for bigger and better — more culturally varied — mashups tomorrow.
The Turducken: the possibilities are endless
Perhaps one the greatest things about mashup culture is that it encompasses a community that wants other people to take their work and mash it up too. It encourages cultural adaptations, mutations and re-adjustments to a pre-existing artwork. For the most part, there’s no licensing needed, no big companies to go through to get permission: all you need is a computer and an Internet connection to get your own mashup party going.
It was only a matter of time before the music recording companies realized that they were missing out on this huge potential to make money off mashup artists. Culture-mashing other people’s music opens itself up to possible commodification and copyright violation, all of the things that the music industry depends on. To protect the music recording industry, a top-secret government treaty that could ban people from the Internet for a year for downloading movies, software programs or even a single mp3 is currently being drafted.
It’s called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), an offshoot of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which our American counterparts have been pushing to the north to combat the sweeping wave of Internet piracy that makes up the fabric of our cultural consciousness. If you or someone in your household is suspected of illegally downloading any files you haven’t paid for, you could all be banned from using the Internet for a whole year. That means not having access to source material without paying the big media companies. For remix musicians, the inability to access free source material to mashup could threaten their art. It could be the end of remix culture as we know it.
Under the rules of ACTA, all Internet service providers like Shaw, Rogers and Telus would be forced to become “copyright pigs” — spies if you will — to seek out and filter through downloaded content and the downloaders from their networks. They will hand over your name, address and they will find you. It’s George Orwell’s prophesy realized:
“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”
The martyrs of Big Brother
We live in a digital world, where every iota of information is disposable at our fingertips. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. We have the freedom to download programs, video games, movies and any song from any album that was ever recorded. The totality of human creativity, thought and action has been categorized neatly, thoughtfully, and can be traced with the easiest Google search. We live in a world of digital archives, a massive information cloud where we can take, share and proliferate information by free will. It’s the largest democratization of culture in the history of the world. Remix music has thrived because of it.
Thriving during the twentieth century was a very different thing. For the first time in history, art and artists were closed off by companies and licensing laws. If you wanted to be a remix musician, it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the legal permission and licenses necessary to put out a mashup album. There were no YouTube musicians, because people couldn’t afford the technology to record and broadcast their work. People didn’t live through music, they were consumers of music. People bought CDs, propping up big media companies like EMI and Universal, took their CDs home and listened to them. You couldn’t engage in the music-making process because it was limited to professional musicians and the unfathomable cost of recording an album professionally. As a result, people were passive to the remix process because it meant licensing something in a closed-off, heavily guarded cultural vault.
The bolts were ripped off the vault door when the Internet bomb detonated in 1999. College dropout Shawn Fanning created Napster, a peer-to-peer file sharing program that allowed people to download music from others, for free. Now anyone with a computer could get their music, and manipulate it however they wanted to. It was the birth of digital mashup.
This sent shivers through the bodies at every major music label boardroom. With the advent of user-generated programs, websites and collective licensing, the big media companies lost control of something they didn’t even create. They’re the unlawful gatekeepers of cultural trends that don’t comply to their business models, and rather than evolving their industrial view of production, they are completely missing the point of cultural democracy. They’ve lost control and their trying to get it back.
If culture-mashing without a costly license from a record label, we are in trouble indeed. Mashups are intelligent culture play. Interpretation of art through remix methods are integral to the development of more art, and the advancement of technology has improved the game space of these artists. For the government to curtail these interpretations solely to protect the interests of the music corporations is an abhorrence to democracy as well as art. Limiting mashup musicians by cutting off their access to source material will place them in a vacuum — and that’s just not how art is made. If remix is the recipe for cultural progress, ACTA is the poison.
Mashup martyrs aren’t going to let that happen quietly. Steve Anderson is the coordinator for the Stop the Big Media Takeover, a community of activists defending the openness of the Internet and the social innovation it brings. He’s an attractive, twenty-something year-old writer who’s adorably diffident despite his accomplishments. He’s upset too. Media companies, or as he calls them “the middle men,” are controlling the creation of culture, and turning it into a dry business of who-owns-what. The Internet wasn’t supposed to be closed off: the idea of it would be an existential paradox.
“The middle men are governing our world,” he said angrily at the 2009 Vancouver Media Democracy Day. He made a tight fist with both hands. “The telecom companies didn’t create the Internet, they just reacted to it. Now they are delivering it, and making a lot of money from it. In the same way, a lot of big media companies didn’t create our culture, they just took it and monetized it. Now they’re losing control. These middle men are scrambling and falling apart and trying to take back culture… this is where the battle begins for us.”
Web 2.0, by virtue, is based on information sharing, user-centre design and collaboration. Interactivity has spawned Wikipedia, web hosting and social networking sites such as MySpace and YouTube. Affording everyone with the opportunity to be an amateur writer, a citizen journalist, a microblogger, and to partake in thousands of virtual communities, it opened the doors to creative avenues that will only become more innovative and interactive as the technology gets better. Amateur writers can vent. Music lovers can now become self-made musicians with the ability to write, record, produce and stream their own work through hundreds of free software programs to choose from. With a basic Djing program like Panatone, you can learn to edit and remix your favourite songs. And it’s all free. Just click click click, download what you want and you are a self-made artist.
Lawrence Lessig takes the same approach to remix culture. As a law professor at Harvard University, he’s calling for a copyright rebellion. Copyright law may have been intended to protect the intellectual property of creators, but it shouldn’t accommodate businesses that are trying to line their pockets rather than giving the advancement of human culture room to breathe.
At the Free Culture Conference last November, Lessig described the industrial monopoly on culture during the twentieth century as the single most destructive maneuver to destroy culture as we know it. “We didn’t know what would become — couch potatoes, passive recipients of culture, not creating it, not doing things with it… there were extremely important kinds of culture, like film or recorded music, that most people couldn’t have any real connection to,” he said. “You couldn’t make a great film, you couldn’t make a great record, because the technology was so far removed. We became passive relative to this culture.”
For the first ten years of this decade, culture managed to evade this material question of licensing, and people mashed away. A Google search will yield 1.5 million results for music mashup. That’s quite a sizable army.
You + me + Stephen Harper
People like Anderson and Lessig feel that culture builds upon what came before it. Whether it’s a rejection of what came before, it is impossible for any artist to not be conscious of the cultural sensibilities they live within. That’s how culture is built — it’s a never ending Hegelian synthesis of observation, analysis and remix — of repurposing and readjusting. Multinational policies like ACTA just don’t fit this organic model. Nor do the corporate models of large music recording industries.
“They’re losing control, and they don’t like the fact that we’re sharing files and not buying their music,” Anderson says. “Right now, we’re making our own music and we’re taking back control of our culture. That is where the battle must end. We must collectively make a decision. Do we want to let people be awesome and create what they want to create, or do we want to clamp down and create a limited, top-down culture?”
Lessig takes the stance that rewrite culture is an empowering, educational realm for amateur as well as professional artists. “It’s a kind of cultural literacy. You know, if you’re 20 years old and you can’t make a film, there’s something wrong with you, right? I mean if you can’t remix using digital technology, you’ve been somehow deprived in your education, and what we need to recognize is that this generation is radically different from mine. My generation was kind of embarrassed by the idea of creating, but your generation and the generation that will come after you is a generation that celebrates creating, and that’s something that the law’s got to begin to encourage.”
“Just think about Nine Inch Nails or Girl Talk, who are releasing content, explicitly encouraging people to do stuff with it, explicitly licensing them to do it with it, and licensing it in a way that guarantees the creators own the rights. They don’t own Girl Talk stuff, they don’t own Nine Inch Nails stuff, but they own their remix. They are creators, that’s the right of creators, and that kind of hybrid relationship I hope will fight to make sure it defines the future.”
If the mashup prevails copyright reform, we would be able to continue the legacy of remix culture building. But Stephen Harper and ACTA are getting in the way.
Tech nerds, DJs: the mashup mercenaries
Jason Sulyma is a Vancouver original. He’s one of the residents at the infamous Biltmore Cabaret, an old-time-dive bar turned into a classy venue adorned with French country wallpaper and an deer antler theme. Toting the stage name My! Gay! Husband! (MGH) the shy, contemplative DJ defends his art as being a purely creative act.
“I’m not a proper producer or remixer; I just make hood East Van dance edits for drunk people when I’m bored at 4 a.m,” he says. He’s not in it to make money from selling CDs, but rather, making a party for his friends and neighbours.
He may be humble about his work, but Sulyma’s crafted some pretty infectious tunes. By mixing popular reggaeton, hip-hop and old-school rock by the likes of Lou Reed and the Beatles, MGH’s musical creations are downright feisty, creative and nostalgic. Remember the Muppets? He’s even got a song for that, a teched-up Muppets theme with a fat throbbing dance beat where Kermit keeps repeating “It’s time to get things started” in a way that automatically gets people dancing. Despite the popularity of this culture-mashing, Sulyma admits there’s hostility directed at his art.
“There are so many DJ, remixer and producer haters out there that I don’t want to give any more ammo. I think a majority of remixes are garbage and ego strokes, and I only do it because it gives me some alone time with the music. It’s just for me, those songs,” Sulyma writes in a Facebook message.
There are a lot of “haters” indeed. Aside from copyright zealots who defend the notion of intellectual property as the be-all-end-all of real human creativity, there’s animosity within the music world as well. This stems from the d.i.y nature of the mashup ― from dorm rooms to basement studios across the world ― literally anyone can tap into the art of the remix without needing to know much, if anything at all, about music. The lack of a price tag to this kind of freedom pushes the buttons of any corporation wanting to make money off this phenomenon that they don’t even belong to.
Eric Hedekar, a.k.a. Eric The Red, is a tech-savvy DJ who designs his own software to make his remixes. Classically trained in composition at Simon Fraser University, he got a fair share of criticism from his professors when he composed and arranged a mashup piece using Radiohead and sound bites of “bitches and hos” for his exam.
He’s optimistic though, and understands the value of technology and the cultural benefits of remixing, even if its not everyone’s cup of tea. “It’s something culture needs to do,” he explains in his 400 square foot basement studio in New Westminster. “All the creative minds in the Bronx in the 80s were looking at the turntable and saying, “Hey, this is more than just a record player” and learned they could adjust the record and make these new songs, or that they could put two songs together that hadn’t been played together before. That’s how hip-hop started, and there are countless examples of this kind of mashing everywhere. The Beatles played with their technology too when they used magnetic tape and played it backwards for “Revolution Number 9.”
Remix culture is the recipe for cultural progress. We need to protect the history of sampled music in order to show how far we’ve come. Technology is the tool for redesigning, tweaking and re-arranging art, and if government starts to monitor and punish Canadian citizens for enjoying the collaborative fruits of remix, we are surely done for. Corn flakes without Overdub booming through my speakers just isn’t the same.
spirituality is just a different bandwidth
Paul D. Miller. Academic and musician in a digital world
Radiohead. George Bush. Chinese lyrics. A complex narrative of the current economic chaos without getting boring.
DJ Spooky, a.k.a. Paul D. Miller, has always been a bit of a wild card. Aside from being the creator of illbient sound — an offshoot of hip-hop heavy electronic music that uses dark themes and dissonance — he’s a noted writer on digital music culture in the academic world. His latest album the Secret Song, is no stranger to this notion of shifts in culture in relation to the fine art of sampling. Using a myriad of influences from the literary to the real, Miller weaves together a fine piece of intelligently crafted atmospheric music without getting too cerebral. Blending sounds from ATM machines, to other familiar dub and hip-hop riffs and rock legends like Sonic Youth, Miller articulates current social thoughts on commercialism, materialism and other human obsessions.
Tell me a little bit about Secret Song. Did you try anything new with it, or take any risks?
There’s so much that we don’t really think about – how we wake up and put on clothes made by workers in Indonesia, China, The Phillipines, or the way our computers are made from small fragments of labor — computer chips are made from precious metals mined in strange spots all over the world, the metals used for soldering the motherboards of your hard drive together comes from all over the place, the metal “coltan” that comes from mines in Congo that are in the middle of awar zone, the way bits and pieces are assembled from all over the world into one device someplace in a factory in China. That kind of thing fascinates me. It’s just sampling “materials” instead of sounds, and I wanted to make an album that reflected that kind of thing.
What was it like working with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore? What kind of synergy is created when experimental rock collaborates with sounds in electronic music? Think you’ll do this again?
Thurston is an old friend, and I’m a fan of what he’s been up to with Sonic Youth. We’ve done concerts and projects together before, so this is just an extension of the vibe. There’s art rock, so now I do “art hip-hop” — it’s that simple.
Your books weigh heavily and are strongly regarded in the academic community. How do you balance the academic with an artistic life?
Basic vibe: I’m into IDEAS. Music and art, literature and digital media; whatever drives this kind of creative process. At the end of the day, it’s all about ideas. I think that concept — ideas — is the most elusive quality of 21st century life. You have one idea, and you do a google search and you realize that there’s 20,000 other people with the same motives and same drive. What makes you different? That’s something I’m thinking about a lot these days. We’ve moved so far into mass production of experiences; copies, copies, copies!!! That we’ve somehow lost the thread of how we got into this 21st century headspace of the “net” as a reference point for all experience. As an artist, I think its cool. But hey, I’m just creating material all day, every day, so my whole take on this kind of thing is that it’s all about making everything connect. Sound, image, literature, etc. Nothing is out side the framework of digital media at this point. Including “spirituality” — it’s just a different bandwidth.
What do you hope to say about digital culture with Secret Song?
Music is what connects so many thing. It’s deeper than language, more flexible than painting or sculpture, and more elusive than literature. I wanted to do something that would shine a light on this kind of 21st century strangeness of being able to hear anything anywhere, and what that means for creativity. I guess you could say I’m just looking at the post playlist mentality.
You sample failed ATM transactions in the album, is the global economic downturn a big theme in the Secret Song?
The “Global Financial Crisis” is what the album is all about. There’s a trickster scenario going on with the idea that music made of samples can really speak to the fragments of the ponzi scheme that is modern financial life. I’m inspired by writers like Ben Elton with his novel Crisis or J.G. Ballard’s Super-Cannes, stuff like that, but when you really look at how our modern economy works, nobody really knows what makes it all tick.
Remix music gets a lot of flack from copyright law. What do you think it says about human creativity when a whole music culture justifies itself by creating something new by recycling previously existing ideas? Is this a digital renaissance, a paradigm shift, zeitgeist or other artists getting ripped off?
Everything is sampleing: we borrow words, we stress connections and quotations in everyday life, we exchange information at every level by citing facts. It’s all sampling. Copyright law is written for a world of physical objects, and we’re moving into a realm where control of software and how it unfolds, whether you’re Google or Danger Mouse, will make or break the way your bottom line rises or falls. I love the complexity of it all. I wake up every morning and think about how wild it is that I live in the 21st century and the whole planet can relate news and information and music and style at the click of a mouse. This is just the beginning, and copyright law will be sidelined more and more as countries like China, India, Brazil and others come into this mix who are less invested in the normal American/European model of copyright protection.
Now that music is digital, do you think it detracts from the music in any way?
Too many people are listening to frequencies that are missing. Most people experience music these days through their data player, and that means they are basically hearing a really compressed file. Which is crazy! When you think about how complex vinyl was, it’s pretty intense that we’re actually moving into a digital realm where we’re still trying to recreate the signal to noise ratio of audio fidelity that our parents took for granted. But, at the other end of the spectrum, a lot of really high end digital media can be BETTER sounding than anything that was recorded in the past. It’s eerie to see Miles Davis sessions put into super high quality software patches (drums, horn, bass line separated and put into multiple file formats where anyone can take that material and sound just as good). But again, I can only say: this is the beginning, and the Secret Song is just a mirror held up to a society that has been uprooted by the very technologies we use to hold everyday life together. Dig?
Free download from Sussan Deyhim. It’s about the elections in Iran and it’s one of the lead singles on the new album.
Translation of the Chinese lyrics for “The Secret Song” are at:
DJ Spooky Website
DJ Spooky Myspace
DJ Spooky, a.k.a The Subliminal Kid, a.k.a Paul D. Miller, has always been on my mind. But that’s how he gets to you.
Paul D. Miller giving you that classic smirk. Image courtesy from rcrdlbl
Luckily for me, I’m getting a chance to interview him in the next couple of day s about his new album The Secret Song, which is largely a commentary on digital music culture.
If anyone’s interested in pitching a couple of questions to me I’d love to take them down. Alternatively, keep checking back and the real interview will be posted here rreeeeallll soooon!