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Mix it around

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I found the readings on remix and mashup to be quite interesting. In today’s culture its hard to get by without knowing what these two things are, even if you are completely at a loss of how to create one. While I’ve known what a remix was in musically for years, more recently have I become familiar with mash ups. They are definitely extremely interesting – I’ve seen a number of artists take two songs that I only liked a little bit and mash them together to create one song that I really enjoy. (Check out Xaphoon Jones’ (of Chiddy Bang) mash up of Passion Pit and The Jackson 5).

What I didn’t know going into these readings was the amount of data mashups that are being done. Without even thinking about it, I’ve come across multiple sites that use information google maps to physically represent the location of something else. I hadn’t ever really considered, however, how it cool it is that people are able to create these extremely useful and relevant tools. Furthermore, the ability to present them to us using formats that we already know how to use and manipulate (such a map from google) seems invaluable.

However, in the argument about importance that the readings presented,  I still maintain a larger appreciation for the “original” art forms. To be able to take nothing and make something from it is pretty remarkable, even if it’s essentially reusing to influences that you have been exposed to over your life (as suggested in comments in the second article about Muddy Waters). I think that it is a truly great thing to have all of these tools out there for people to be able to use and copy resources, but I have a slightly greater respect for the people who made great remixes before all these tools were available. As the article points out, it was a much slower process and required a great deal of creativity on the part of the remixer, having much less at their disposal to make these cool new sounds.

I do feel, though, that is extremely important to encourage and continue this field, especially as it becomes easy and accessible enough to teach effectively. We seem to be following the same rules that the great composers of centuries past did. Back then it was okay to reuse and incorporate a melody from another composer as long as you added something to it or changed it to make it a growth and progression, not just a copy. We seem to still have this in mind – and as long as there’s that element of creation and human innovation, I’m sold that it’s important and worth teaching.

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