Making Music – in the edit

There are some interesting videos emerging which involve collaborations between musicians –   some of whom don’t even know of each others existence.  

This fresh treatment of Ben E King’s classic Stand by Me has proved popular on You Tube.  The video is an extract from Playing for Change: Peace through Music – a feature documentary which came out last year for which the producers Mark Johnson & Jonathan Wall travelled the world filming musicians in Tibet, South Africa, the US and elsewhere performing versions of Stand by Me, as well as Bob Marley’s One Love & Don’t Worry (Three Little Birds). While the musicians never meet they collaborate through playback, each contributing another layer to the mix.  The producers have brought them together in the edit by intercutting the geographically distributed performances.

The You Tuber known as Kutiman – Israeli musician and composer Ophir Kutiel – has taken this kind of idea to another level in the fabulous ThruYOU . He’s captured and worked with eclectic samples of You Tube music recordings – layering and interweaving the music in the individual movies to achieve great afro-beat, funk, and reggae mixes.  He’s created seven inspired tracks but also embodied his ‘open source’ approach in the form of the work – with the link / credit for each recording running as the clip plays.  It’s a whole new genre that couldn’t have existed without the internet. On Track 8 Kutiman talks about how he went about it and thanks the  musicians who ‘took part’ – this creative community he’s conjured out of search terms;  “I had a great time searching for you and working with you.”  I’m interested in looking at what’s possible if we start thinking about speech content the way Kutiman has thought about music. I’m going to be experimenting around that, and I expect many others will be inspired by his work too. 

One such example has just appeared.  Lewes New School in Sussex have released a video in which kids from the school perform David Bowie’s Changes.  It has to be inspired by ThruYOU, as the only grown-up playing is a bass player – Herbie Flowers – the grandfather of two boys at the school, who played on the orginal recording in 1972.

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