free markets, free culture

Colbert/Lessig/Obama remix

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This blog is, among many things, concerned with remix culture.

All the newfangled web tools make it too easy — and too fun! — to endlessly cut up and rearrange existing media for instant parody, satire, or commentary.

When intellectual property guru and copyright activist Lawrence Lessig appeared on The Colbert Report last month, host Stephen Colbert issued a warning to the audience:

“Never… ever… ever… take anything of mine and remix it! For instance, I will be very angry if anyone takes this interview right here and remixes it with some great dance beat, and it starts showing up in clubs across America.”

Okay, the remixes aren’t exactly club hits, but they’re showing up in full force on music collaboration site Indaba. (An official contest is open through March 30 if you want to try your hand!)

Indaba is a Zulu word for collaboration and community. The website lets musicians and fans all over the world record, mix, and master tracks together. I’m sure there is some serious music-making going on there, but it’s also a neat tool for less serious, quickie projects.

Case in point: Last week, when The Boston Phoenix published a series of mp3 excerpts from Barack Obama’s audiobook Dreams From My Father, the clips were too good to pass up. (*Disclaimer: Obama is quoting a childhood friend in these clips.)

A friend and I were determined to make a killer beat loop of these clips, but in the end, were too confounded by the Indaba interface to make any real progress. We’re trying to get help from another friend in radio production. Until then, this jam is in open session for any technically-inclined mixers!


Written by @hellopanelo

February 11, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Posted in remix

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