Ian, great question!
I've had this chat with Richard from Negativland before.
I don't think any collage artist would really lay "claim" to any sample
they found or used, even if they feel they were the first to use it. I think
it's moreso important that we try to explore new ground. Like, making
a Pepsi collage wouldn't be all that great of an endeavor to any of us
because Negativland essentially dedicated an album to such a thing.
You might make a GOOD one, but it wouldn't be nearly as fun for you
to make as say...something out of material untouched to your
knowledge. That's how you best grow as an artist, I think.
If you use someone else's sample, so be it, it's clearly not a sin
by the same people who feel the source material owners have no
right to press charges against them for taking it in the first place.
But still...the more people who recognize your sample from another
person's work, the less impressive the FACT that you sampled it
becomes. Chances are, more people are going to hear this one from
the Orb first, before realizing you did it previously, unless they've
seen you live of course. So I'm sure the Orb won't suffer the consequence
Sampling Willy Wonka, for example, is VERY VERY done...but would
you still use Wonka samples in your material? I suppose it depends on
your purpose. That movie can add trippy elements to just about anything,
but it's only spice...it's not necessarily "unique." I don't mean to say
everything every artist makes is expected to be ground breaking...I just
think that as an artist, we should push our own limits into new creative
ground. If you're going to sample another person's sample, it might
be a good thing, DEPENDING ON HOW YOU USE IT
Someone on here once said, "everything you thought you did first,
has already been done." Accepting that, what's the point then? Fact is,
many things have been done before, but we're just not aware of it yet.
As an individual secluded artist, someone who is totally offline on the
other side of the world might have made their first audio collage, and
thought THEY were the first to do it. They pushed themselves into new
innovative ground as an individual artist. That's the best part about making
art, in my opinion, is the creative process itself.
Much in line with this list's original topic at hand, I don't expect
Negativland themselves to be using audio collage in all of their
future works. The Crosley Bendix CD certainly wasn't a sample-set
piece by any extent, and Death Sentences isn't either (though it's
really a book, featuring a CD.) Those guys will reach for new ground
again, no doubt. This is good, because they are pushing themselves
into new arenas.
If YOU feel you're doing something unique, fun, and creative...that's the
whole point, eh? You might make something that sounds great, but
you personally feel it mirrors everything else you've heard. Or...you
don't CARE, cuz you had fun making it, maybe that's your point.
Whether you think so or not, you're still pushing the overall musical
envelope, even if you're making something you feel has been done already.
Indeed, things need to get repetitious for quite a long time before things
change in the music industry. One might think every kind of abstract
painting has already been made, so why make more? Because it
pushes the envelope of what "abstract" is. The parameters are defined
by what we've seen, not by what we WILL see. They will indeed grow
as long as we're pushing those limits, and ENJOYING it. If you enjoy
the process, then no harm done.
I, myself, try to avoid sampling others who have sampled others
as a general rule, unless I have this idea which would TOTALLY change
their approach. In that scenario, I don't mind admitting who I heard it
from first, because you'll hear a huge difference in approach, content,
and meaning of the overall work.
The artist Moby, for example, is FLATTERED when indie artists
sample him...he sees his old material reaching for new and creative
ground. Though if Dr. Dre sampled him, he claims he'd sue his ass off.
The commercial music industry isn't trying so much to be creative
as they are trying to make money...so that makes sense to me why
he'd have such picky feelings about who samples him.
Well, I've gone all over the place here, not even sure I answered your
question, but it was fun to sit and contemplate for awhile nonetheless.
At 12:59 PM 3/1/2001 -0500, you wrote:
So what do all of you folks think about the idea of staking a claim to a
particular group of samples, or should the thoughtful collage artist share
all the sampling secrets that they might have collected over the years?
Another point.... say for instance I ran across an album from which samples
were taken and used on the Droplift project. I might buy the album, but I
would never think of using those same samples in my own music, because those
have been "taken" by some other artist.
does anybody else share this sentiment?
Every Man every.manATpressthebutton.com
Press The Button, Midnight - 3 am Sundays
WRUW, 91.1 FM, Cleveland, OH
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