Arielle Orem- Week 11 Wiki
Remix and Globalization

In 1937, oral-historian Alan Lomax paid a visit to Florence Reece in Harlan County, Kentucky- the heart of mining town. Lomax recorded a song Reece had written many years earlier about the labor strikes which her father and husband had participated in. The song, “Which Side Are You On,” was originally sung acapella by the protestors in the picket lines in 1931 to the tune of an old Baptist hymn called “Lay the Lily Low”. Due to the lack of sound technology in rural Kentucky, it was not recorded until Lomax’s visit six years later and is now preserved in the Archive of American Folk Song in the Library of Congress.

In 1940, iconic American folk-singer Pete Seeger recorded his own version of “Which Side Are You On” adding his own vocal styling and banjo accompaniment. Seeger maintains the original lyrics, keeping the song around two minutes in length. Seeger’s musical interpretation of Reece’s protest song is an example of traditional vocal remix. He would record this song several more times with various accompanying groups such as this version with The Almanac Singers from 1947.

In 1981, Scottish singer Dick Gaughan adapted the song lyrics in support of the anti-nuclear mobilization protest going on in the United Kingdom at that time. Gaughan also remixed Reece’s song by adding his own vocal interpretation and a guitar accompaniment. Seven years later, Scottish pop-band Deacon Blue introduced an entirely new sound to Reece’s original lyrics by adding electric guitars, keyboard, and drums. These are examples of cultural remixes influenced by an increasingly-connected global society.

The Dropkick Murphys remixed Reece’s song in 2001, adding yet another distinct sound to the numerous versions of “Which Side Are You On.” The punk-rock band from Massachusetts brings this folk song into the punk-rock genre, an example of genre remixing.

In 2012, Ani Difranco released her own politically-charged remix of Reece’s lyrics including criticism of the political leadership, class struggle, and patriarchy. Ani adds 4 additional minutes to Reece’s original song, playing guitar as she comments on the contemporary political climate.

The wide variety of vocal and instrumental styles that have been applied to Reece’s original song represent the possibilities of genre remixing. The transformation of her lyrics to be adapted to a variety of political climates transcending time and place is an example of cultural remixing.

Langford Wiggins Week 11
Beyonce Escapes a Box.
I am happy to say that Beyonce is one of my favorite artists for many reasons. Some people like artist for the original sound, or their original music or lyrics, or their classic style music. I enjoy Beyonce for her ever changing music. Beyonce has captured many genres in the creation of her “Four” album. She has combined rock, soul, contemporary RB, techno, and many others during the production of the album. While reading DJ Spooky’s interviews I noticed his support of Creative Commons and sampling of music as he said, “So as long as it's interesting and done in an intriguing way, and at the same time at least partly acknowledges the music as the original vector for it…”

In the song Girls (Who Run the World), I couldn’t help but think of the sampling Beyonce has done and the credit she gives to Major Lazer's for creating "Pon de Floor", which she samples. Critics praise this song in saying that, “This song is distinctively creative and adds a new element to Pop/R&b music.”

This manages “to fuse different genres together without one overriding the others”, which was Beyonce’s mission in making this album. Beyonce states, "I'm mixing every type of genre that I love and I'm inspired by every type of genre. ... I'm not in a box. It's not R&B. It's not typically pop. It's not rock. It's just everything I love all mixed together in my own little gumbo of music." Even in the music video the Beyonce features different art forms of dancing that add to the globalization of her music and her goal to reaching the world showcasing her perspective.

Beyonce has been sampling, remixing, and combining genres for years, adding to her creative style and breaking rules across all spectrums. She helps to evolve music by evolving herself. She takes risks and challenges artist to compete, create and be original.


Stevie Chancellor
The New Genre of Stringz : High/Low Musical Mixing

Violin duo Nuttin' But Stringz
Violin duo Nuttin' But Stringz
While reading the interviews with DJ Spooky, one of the parts that stuck out to me was his comments about high/low culture and white and black America and the interplay between the two. In his interview with Carol Becker and Romi Crawford, he describes the interplay between black and white culture "as one of intense psychological projections on both sides, where one lives through the eyes of the other." I wanted to think about artistic appropriation of traditionally white and black culture and how this is coming together in electronic music.

The reason I was so interested in this is that I love orchestral hip-hop and DJ Spooky talked about working his own skills of playing bass into his music! I then realized that so many of my favorite works in this genre were done with string instruments and piano rather than other orchestral brass or woodwind instruments. Why the choice of string instruments rather than others? How do they decide to move into ? And why is this type of music so popular amongst both black and white people in America? Hybridization and cultural appropriation could play a big part in what's going on. What should we call this style? I was browsing Youtube and saw a playlist named "Stringz" and thought that may be an appropriate way to describe the genre. It's like a grittier version of stringed music! Two of my favorite examples of this kind of music are Nuttin' But Stringz and Black Violin. Here are two of their videos to watch.

Most of the people who play in this genre are classically trained violinists and have moved into this hybrid genre of hip hop, dustep, reggae, and classic symphony music. I tried to do a bit of research about the history of the movement, which has turned into its own subgenre. It seems to be the mix between what used to be the highest brow of culture in classical music and rap, obviously, but also includes influences from reggae, dupstep, and electronic music. Bethany Bryson has found in 1995 that, amongst others, rap was one of the least tolerated music forms by the culturally elite. However, many of these musical acts are popular across both black and white culture. I feel comfortable saying this (without any empirical data to back me up!) because Nuttin' But Stringz has played at Carnegie Hall and for former President George W. Bush. Both Nuttin' But Stringz and Black Violin's music were discovered through talent competitions at the Apollo Theatre.

Nuttin' But Stringz plays at the White House for President George W. Bush
Nuttin' But Stringz plays at the White House for President George W. Bush
How, in that case, can we explain the combination of the two and their popularity across both black and white audiences? Is it the mix of stereotypically "stuffy white people music" with urban hip hop that appeals to both genres or are people more open to genre mixing than they were before because they are more culturally tolerant?

I think doing more thorough research on this topic could make for a really interesting paper about post-postmodern musical tastes, genre mixing, and authorship. What does it mean to be an author in the world of infinite options to make music?

Works Cited

"An Interview with Paul D. Miller a. k. a. DJ Spooky--That Subliminal Kid," Carol Becker; Romi Crawford; Paul D. Miller. Art Journal, Vol. 61, No. 1. (Spring, 2002), pp. 82-91.

"Anything But Heavy Metal: Symbolic Exclusion and Musical Dislikes" Bethany Bryson in American Sociological Review. 1996, Vol. 61 (October).

Sara Anderson

Amanda Palmer is one of my favorite artists, and she is very conscious of her musical hybridity. She incorporates art and video into her musical projects beautifully. The pictures below are some that she featured on her Kickstarter page that were included in her art book.

external image ks_art_collage1.png

As mentioned in her Kickstarter video, one of these projects was a book of art based on her lyrics. DJ Spooky contributed to the project as well, which struck me as an interesting connection between artists. Amanda Palmer is very grounded in the requirements of current musical culture, and has in the past put her music out through a major record label. This project got her out from under the restrictions to her aspirations.

She asked for 100k, but ended up with over a million dollars from her fans. Her career led up to her being able to reach out to them when she wanted to make a change. The choices in how to shoot the video make it come across as honest and straightforward. I love the claim that "This is the future of music". It's entirely possible that fan supported music in this style will flourish, as well as the inclusion of other art forms more explicitly in musical projects. She is fairly well known for connecting with her fans via social networking and being direct and personal. Her website, linked here, features some of the tools she uses for this communication. Her blog is linked there, as well as her social media accounts. The site is also used to share news and media with her fans.

The above video is one of my favorites of hers, shot in a stop motion style.


Meggie Schmidt
New Orleans and hybridization of Music

This weeks readings focused on Music. I think one of the most interesting aspects, from my cultural background and upbringing, is the genre blues. Blues have resulted in other genres in music such as jazz, soul, and R & B. All of these types of music are prevalent in New Orleans, Louisiana. When I was younger and I went to the French Quarter with my parents, on any given street a jazz musician could be playing. The various street artists were not always homeless or poor, many were just trying to expose their music to the public and make a name for themselves. Below are two videos of New Orleans jazz street performers.

Another celebration of music comes in February or March with Gras Parades. Bands from high schools and colleges in New Orleans, as well as across the United States, come to play their music and march in parades. Below is a video of Tulane University’s marching band at a parade in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

Music is a huge celebration in New Orleans. During the fall there is Voodoo festival and during the spring there is Jazz festival. At these music festivals all types of people come for the different stages from which musicians will play. There have been musicians who perform relating to the country genre, rhythm and blues, jazz, and even some pop artists. These music festivals are a celebration of the art form and draw attention to the cities unique and diverse culture and heritage. Below is a promo video for Voodoo festival in 2008.

In southwest Louisiana, the musical genre Zydeco, emerged out of American folk music. Zydeco began as a hybrid of Cajun music (as Louisiana is typically associated with), and the other musical genres of blues, and rhythm and blues. The Creole beginnings of this musical genre can be attributed to the predominately French heritage of New Orleans. Zydeco has evolved to incorporate many forms of music today such as brass band, reggae, hip hop, Afro-Caribbean, rhythm and blues, as well as many other types of genres (Zydeco, wikipedia). Below is the Zydeco group, Buckwheat Zydeco, performing at jazz festival in 2007.

Below is another examaple of New Orleans Zydeco music performers.

There is a history of musicians combining many different types of musical genres. For example, the band Bad Books, combines indie folk and indie rock into their music, creating a sound very different from main steam music. Many call their music a hybrid between the two genres (Bad Books, Wikipedia). Recently, in October, Bad Books performed at the House of Blues in New Orleans. Is a hybridization of two genre or many genres of music into one unique sound where the music industry is headed?


Paulina Johnson
Remix Culture and Music

Remix Culture is an interesting phenomenon within our society today. I wanted to explore some examples of artists whom I believe exemplify this culture:

Janelle Monae.

Janelle Monae has received accolades for her musical style that creates somewhat of its own category as it is a remix of varying styles. She has been cited as being influenced by Prince, OutKast, Erykah Badu, James Brown, Grace Jones, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Bernard Herrmann, Funkadelic and the Incredible String Band (The Guardian).

Massive Attack.



(above. remix by the thievery corporation)

(above. original song)


Remixing is obviously happening in our daily lives (just look at YouTube), but at the same time, it feels kind of like a subversive movement. Mediums like, along with events such as the RE/mixed Media Festival highlight the subculture feel of the remix movement, even though many people openly embrace remixing and sampling in music production today.

Works Cited

Thoughts on the Remix Culture
Lauren Jones

As stated by DJ Spooky, America derived much of its cultural influence from Europe, primarily Britain, in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, however, America’s tastes changed – the music began to reflect the diverse population from which it derived.

“People need music to define their identities. Each generation has its own soundtrack and own way of engaging.”

From minstrels to rag-time, jass, vaudeville, songwriters such as Cole Porter, and, my personal favorite, the invention of blues. When it comes to remixing, nothing can come close to blues. The whole basis of this style of music is comprised around a simple chord arrangement, repetition, and, sometimes, call and response. Blues artists would consistently tweak and juxtapose themes and lyrics from other blues songs – and, these were not considered covers! Blues artists would simply change a chord or a word here and there and, thus, claim the song as a new entity. The point here is that at the core of music, as most blues musicians understood, a song did not belong to anyone – it was as fluid as its melodies and constantly open to reinterpretation.

“Essentially, for me, music is a metaphor, a tool for reflection.”

As a people, we are remixes – cut, copied, and pasted. And, this is reflected in our art and music. In this class, we talked about the idea of intellectual property and copyright and trademark and, I have to say, this whole thing frustrates me to no end. Yes, individuals deserve credit when and where credit is due; however, it is my belief that ideas are things that cannot be owned. When we put a price on our ideas we put a price on ourselves; but, what makes up an individual? Like every good remix, we are comprised of various themes which both reinforce and contradict us as a whole. We are also very much influence by our environments and therefore base our identities off of what is going on around us. We change, we grow, we retreat, we destroy. And, our art showcases all of this. In terms of copyright and intellectual property, then, if you are going to give credit to an individual who influenced something, you must then go and give credit to every single individual who influenced said person. It’s only fair. And, it’s exhausting.

“I think art in the near future will be much more about environments than just objects on the wall.”

In post-modernity, as altered by globalization and technological advancements, we are in an age remix – our society is built on and thrives based upon it. When it comes to art and music, the source of inspiration for a piece should not hinder the purpose of said work. By enforcing the rights of intellectual property it almost seems as if we are impeding progress – making our history even heavier than it is. Our ideas do not belong to the past from whence they originated, they flow freely throughout time expanding and contracting as we do. Our ideas are part of us and should be allowed to reinvent themselves from whatever source at will, as we do.

Works Cited:
Remix Theory Interview:

"An Interview with Paul D. Miller a. k. a. DJ Spooky--That Subliminal Kid," Carol Becker; Romi Crawford; Paul D. Miller. Art Journal, Vol. 61, No. 1. (Spring, 2002), pp. 82-91.

Elizabeth-Burton Jones

Music has the ability to transform one's soul. It can take people places that they have never been before and create a new universe. But, is this universe new or just reconstructed? Certain topics that I really enjoyed this week were the fusion of cultures, the idea of the same song but a different artist, and the mashup. All of these ideas are brought together by a common thread, however, I would like to try to organize these ideas in a different way to help me with my final project. All in all, my ideas can be summed up by the song "History Repeating" that is featured below.
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Same Song, but what changed?
Many songs throughout are linked to other songs. Sometimes the link includes the beat and sometimes the link includes the words. The videos below showcase certain songs that are continuously built up. I know that most of the songs force the user to go to the actual YouTube page, but in the end, it's worth it because these videos exemplify the "same song" notion. There are so many songs that have the same beat or same lyrics that it would be difficult to list each one, but the songs listed are very interesting ways of looking at the shared track. The issue seems to be the author. I hope to explore the issue of the author in my final project, but currently we have to question the origin of the music.

external image music-notes.jpegFusion:
Music can be fused in many ways. Different beats, different singers, and different styles can all create a nexus within music. First, I would like to assess the fusion of music beats. This is commonly found within techno song selections. The different beats and sometimes smooth transitions create a new world that is not mutually exclusive, instead the world is cohesive. This new world, is a creative ground and constantly changing.

Secondly, I would like to examine the fusion of languages. While on a bus from the Law Center to Georgetown's main campus, I was talking to someone about CCT and the concept of the remix and hybridity. The response was very interesting. He brought up the fusion of accents. Whereas once accents were very distinctive, now especially in his native land, the accents are muddled and creating a unified tone. He added the idea of vocal accents that can sometimes determine where the artist is from. However, I would like to take a different approach. With regards to this week, we can look at the use of language and the mashup. This issue is far too big for one week's writing, but I would like to tackle the issue by adding videos that demonstrate the change from distinctively different languages to the fusion that we can see today. Today, it is very natural to have the transition from one language to another, especially in hip hop music.The mixture of languages creates another form of music another territory where people can come together.

Classical Mashup:
Next, I would like to talk about classical music and rap music. For some reason each form is inexricably linked. Rap music seems to be the connecting link from the past to the future. In some cases, rap music takes classical music and gives it a current spin. This idea of dusting something off from the past can be seen in many readings from this week (from one's listed in the works cited). However, the question is what is too much? When should we leave the classics alone and when should we awaken them?

One Side of the Mashup:
The first video is one version of creating a mashup. I think this video is great because it simplifies the mashup and shows the transition. The second and third videos demonstrate the new terrain that is discovered after the exploration of the new territories of music are finished. These new places are new genres of hip hop and R and B. These new genres include different takes on traditional art forms and mash everything up.

Music, it is a new journey. It is growing faster and faster as each genre is created and each mashup is technically produced. Through the lenses of the cultural fusion (ethnic fusion, classical and modern fusion, and the end results) we can try to catch a glimpse of the changing industry, however as soon as we have defined the new art form, it has already changed.

Works cited:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=6c6c1db3dfb7750f&bpcl=38093640&biw=1054&bih=651

11 Music as Always Already Hybrid: Post-Digital, Post-Global Genre Mixing

Elisabet Diaz
Electronica & Folklore

In its desire to innovate and create new musical landscapes, electronic music in its more chill form (downtempo) has explored the integration of world folklore sounds with electronic beats. In its infinite hybrid forms, it has also been described with several terms such as fusion, crossover or world-beat. I want to take a look at to two different bands that caught my attention in the past decade.

Yoga Rave. Electronic Music and Mantras

With the New Age Wave, the introduction of the eastern spiritual philosophy in the western countries has undertaken many reinterpretations of eastern cultural forms and practices. The Kirtan, an Indian religious chants ceremony consisting of the repetition of Sanskrit mantras in a call-and-response form, has suited western tastes by merging it with electronic sounds. One example is the group Wah! Led by the artist Wah Devi. She was educated as a musician at Oberlin Conservatory of Music where was she also got involved in Yoga and other eastern spiritual practices. Her interest also included African sounds and dance visiting Ghana for a short period of time. She become popular in New York playing before Courtney Love when the latter was joining the group Hole. Wah! experimented mixing eastern sounds with punk, and reggae, psychedelic rock music and African rhythms during years until it settle a signature style. Wah! labeled itself as meditation music with sacred mantras and synthetic sounds. It is designed to accompany the yoga practice and other “holistic” activities and help the person to reach a peace state of mind.

Another interesting example of hybrid folklore with electronic music is the Argentinan Band, Gotan Project, considered the precursor of tango-electronic “subgenre.” The first album was created in 2000 by a French Dj, a suiss musician and an Tango guitarist from Argentina. Their intention was to experiment with different styles and merge different methods of creating music. In one of its singles, Jazz, Electronic and tango mix with Eva Peron’s speech about the “hazards of foreign capitalism.” Against all odds, the album reached high popularity and convinced them to create a consolidated group. Beside the Tango predominance, Gotan Project emulates Trip-hop and Jazz-house styles making it very easy to listen to.

Sagorika Sen

This weeks reading made me study music on two levels. The level at technology platforms and the level of music at different cultures, sub cultures & genres.

At the technological platform level-- the example i was immediately reminded of was of "the Symphony Crack" . These are guys who's main motive is "Where words fail, music speaks"..Ashanti Floyd the main violinist was trained in
from an early age in the strings and percussion and having a mastery of music theory, he is considered a "melodic, rhythmic genius". As the son of a violin-playing mother Patrice Floyd (Famu string professor), and father Dwight Floyd (Pianist & Famu graduate), Tallahassee native, Ashanti Floyd has been playing since age three and has become one of the most revered violin players. Since then he has gained valuable experience through formal and informal studies. Ashanti knew where he wanted to go to college and only applied to one school, the Berklee College of Music.. Here is an example of him mixing the sound of the violin to Elli Goulding's song "Lights". This popular song once mixed with the violin sends music listeners on a whole new level.

At the music at different cultures level I was reminded of Karunesh.Karunesh was born in Cologne ,Germany and hes a strong musician with large indian influences. Karunesh is of the belief that music has to be for the body mind and soul. having spent a long time in an ashram in India he realized that music has the capability of transcending cultures .His music is a mix of really old Indian sounds with techno rhythm.
Just like Paul d.Miller Karunesh too says that "
I want to go beyond the limits and barriers separating different cultures, mixing different music styles and let them flow and dance together. Music is the one language in the world that everybody understands, across all cultures, religions and beliefs - music for body, heart and soul. " -

References :