This explanation of how a 6 second drum break from a little-known 1969 song can spawn innumerable sounds and subcultures is quite beautiful. I really couldn’t hope do a better job of explaining how sampling and technology have redefined the potential for musical expression so here it goes:

I’m really glad that the creator of the video inserted all the issues with copyrighting at the end, too. Imagine how different music might be if The Winstons had sued every artist that wanted to use their music right from the beginning. We seem to have moved closer and closer toward that being the norm and it’s a shame. Who knows how many remarkable uses of samples have been stifled by stringent copyright laws.

Also, it strikes me that this is essentially the opposite of what I’m doing with my one year project. Whereas this simple 6 second drum break has been manipulated to create innumerable musical expressions, expanding it endlessly, my idea is to take an enormous amount of recorded sound and stuff it into one small, digestible package. Actually, I would love to see someone take a snippet of my end product and expand it out again. It could be as if the music is alive, inhaling and exhaling.

There’s a piece by Steve Reich called Proverb which puts the phrase, « How small a thought it takes to fill a whole life! », to music and expands on that. I just like the piece, and the quote (from Ludwig Wittgenstein), and thought it seemed in the same vein as the video above, even though it’s classical music.

This has really turned into more of a miscellaneous post than a post about sampling. Oh well. Here’s the Reich piece: