Thursday, 8 March 2012

Tech Task #9

For my Ninth Tech Task I was asked to view the movie, "rip!: A remix manifesto", a documentary by Brett Gaylor which explores the the creative art form of remixing media as well as the evolution of copy rights.  The documentary addresses these issues using the the four points in "A Remixer's Manifesto" as a vehicle to justify their views presented in the video.  The Four Points presented can been seen in the image below:

I found this documentary interesting because up until about a year ago I didn't have a whole lot of insight into the art of creating mash-ups or remixing media.  However, last year my younger brother introduced me to various songs that had been remixed or mash-ed up to create an entirely new song.  I found it truly amazing because many of the remixes and mash-ups that I begun to stumble upon remixed songs of completely different genres into an entirely new genre.  To get an idea of what I'm talking about here's a couple of remixes by my favourite Remix Artists (Well the clean versions  that I can post to my blog)
 The White Panda: Mo Free Mo Falling (Remixes Biggie Smalls with Tom Petty)

DJ's From Mars: Enter Telephone (Mash-Up with Metallica and Lady Gaga)

Along with viewing the documentary I was also asked to respond to one or more questions found in the Educational Guide for RIP: A Remixer's Manifesto.

General: Do you think you can argue your creativity when it’s based on other people’s work?

Music: Do you believe there are forms of music that are not built on past works?

These are interesting questions because I had similar questions when I first heard remixes by artists such as The White Panda or DJ's From Mars.  I always wondered, "how can these artists claim this music as their own, if they are using other artists work?" On one side of this question you could argue that regardless of how much re mixer's alter a song or a piece of work it can never be considered their own creation because it already belongs to someone else.  However, the video raised an interesting point when Brett looked at the song "You need Love" by Muddy Waters and how he got the riff from the song by Son House and how that same riff can be heard again and again throughout various songs as the years progressed, in particular the song "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin.  If this is the case, and using other peoples work to create a new song, how can we possibly view Muddy Waters or Led Zeppelin as creative?  Technically they both used the past (the Riff from Son House) to build on a future creation.  Is this really a negative thing?
In response to the second question, I honestly don't believe that there are any forms of music out theerethat haven't evolved or been created without an influence from the past.  Almost all of the genres of music today have evolved as a result of music from the past.  A good example of this could be the evolution of Rock N' Roll.  This genre didn't just come out of nothing, but rather a combination of African American Blues, Country, Jazz and Gospel Music.  This example truly shows how important the past is in creating a future.  Imagine for a second,  that over 100 years ago Jazz or Blues were never created, what would today's music sound like today?

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