Re: [rumori] plunderphonia, and other words
Tue, 4 Apr 2000 15:14:44 -0400

But "plunderphonic" sounds so COOL and _underground_ ;^)

What does "musique concrete" have to do with sampling? I understand
Schaeffer was using disc recording and tape, but he wasn't using
copyrighted works or music - I thought he was using stuff you'd call field
recordings. I understood the term to mean "music made from sound," as
opposed to [western] music made from instruments and pitches. Educate me,
Steev, I've only read a little on Schaeffer.

"Detritus" is the best term. It's important that people make the connection
that _this stuff_ is natural (say "valid.")


Steev Hise <> on 04/04/2000 02:51:26 PM

Please respond to

cc: (bcc: Dan Serkland/National/NISH)
Subject: [rumori] plunderphonia, and other words

Tue, 4 Apr 2000 found Tyler Hewitt writing:

>I quickly re-read the Oswald piece. It talks much more
>about sampling and copyright issues than anything
>else. While that is a major component of Plunderphonic
>music (probably the MAIN component), I would argue
>that there are other philosophical and conceptual
>ideas at work as well. Briefly, part of the Dadaist

i think the question here is what do we mean by "Plunderphonic music"?

To me, it is a specific subset of john oswald's work, and *perhaps* a few
other pieces by other artists that also follow the strict defintion that
he set down. It seems that many on this list use a broader definition and
are referring to all sample-based music, or even all audio work that uses
appropriation in any way, so that we have this possibly huge general range
of works, everything from charles ives to john zorn to eric clapton to
wendy carlos to the hafler trio.

This seems like too wide a subject to me.

 This sort of music that we probably all mostly agree on in spirit
already, understand what it is, but are dancing around discussing it
poorly because of semantics, has many names to describe different
subsections of it. the Tape-beatles call their piece of it "Plagiarism".
Negativland use the words "Culture Jamming". Schaeffer said "Musique
Concrete". In dub music it's called "versioning". But, they all mean
slightly different things. When i was trying to think of what to name the site, I almost called it "", after a concept that
Michel deCerteau formulated in his book "The Practice of Everyday Life".
(Some people thought that was referring to a way to cook eggs, so i kept
thinking.) There was also the idea of "bricollage" that's pretty relevant,
first(?) brought up by Claude Levi-Strauss in his book "The Savage Mind".
Finally I settled on the word "detritus", which was a nice biology
metaphor and a word that, though probably used before, hadn't yet become
anyone else's "brand" (forgive the momentary use of marketing-speak).

 My point is, i believe that if one is using someone else's word, one
should go by their definition. If you have your own (partially or fully)
contradictory ideas, make up your own word. Finally, if you want to talk
about general phenomena, use a more general descriptor. In this case that
means saying something like "sample-based composition" or "audio
appropriation" instead of "plunderphonic music".

sorry, this was probably too many words about words. but my aim is to make
future discussions a little more clear.


Steev Hise, Infoserf
"Everything in Los Angeles is too large, too loud, and usually banal
 in concept... the plastic asshole of the world."
            -William Faulkner

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