vlog soundtrackster pile up

Back on 4/20 I posted about a collaborative project I did with Jay Dedman where he did a videoblog and I slacked together a soundtrack for it in a bloggy style. On his own blog entry about it Jay contrasted it with the remix scene:

CC Mixter would be a great place for people to put out requests for collaborations. This goes beyond the idea of a mashup…and starts entering the way that commercial media is created. People with different talents work together to create something none of them could do alone.

Now enough time has gone by for comments to accumulate there. One thread is about resistance to cultural oppression:

I think the boundaries of Fair Use need to be pushed. […] Bring on the stupid copyright battles!

GirlTalk (http://tinyurl.com/p8t9v) is a good example of how someone pushes Fair Use in a smart way.

I appreciate the point that the best solution to copyright extremism can’t just be to withdraw from the world into a perfect ivory tower of all-Creative Commons all the time. Still, we’re hardly at that point. The vast majority of what’s happening in the real world is childish regression — “I’ll do it until I get caught” and then “Fuck you for catching me!” To my mind it’s idiotic to keep doing that, over and over again, year in and year out. Hello, Lab Rat? Quit pushing the button that gives you the electrical shock. Try this button over here, the one that requires you to be an adult but that also accomplishes something. Isn’t it kind of nice to be able to demand respect?

Another thread — more interesting if less volatile — is about the conversational interaction between music and video in a soundtrack:

new track – completely different feel.It’s funny because I was playing around with this video last week. …
I’ve been thinking about videos for my wife Kate’s new album …
So just as a little experiment for myself, i ran about five of her tracks with it. Amazingly different experiences, even though the tracks themselves are not *wildly* different. There was one that really worked (although it was 30 seconds too long).

And that’s exactly the point of the exercise. This whole situation started when Jay released the same videoblog with different music, music that he didn’t have the rights to use. There was a flood of comments on the copyright situation, then this third party tried out five different alternate pieces of music, then Jay himself changed the music over. And each one of these steps was about conversational interactions.

When we were creating CC Mixter, the idea was to unleash an art form that needed permissive licensing to survive. The original interaction design was in the form of threaded comments — Bob’s mix responding to Ellen’s Mix of Sally’s original. Similarly, my music was a response to Jay’s video, and if somebody remixed my audio the thread would be one deeper.

This whole vlog+blog-musician business is no different. It’s culture happening in real time. The video and the music are part of a back and forth flow of works, and the flow is a primary component of the art.

One thought on “vlog soundtrackster pile up

  1. I think that the current crop of intellectual property issues spawn folks with reasonable if widely divergent points of view from a number of different camps. They also spawn some pretty patently unreasonable points of view.

    I agree that one need not assert that permissive licensing is the only way to go. Others may, and do, ply the turbid waters of the borders of fair use. A goodish number hoist the jolly roger and head for the open, if somewhat sargasso, copyright-evading sea.

    I posit, as I think this post does, that Creative Commons licenses are less the Key to All Mythologies than a very useful socket wrench to achieve a given set of goals. When I make culture “in real time”, I don’t want to hassle with civil disobedience or with reading the latest fair use decisions from the federal courts. I’d rather just know I am using licensed material from mixter or freesound or a netlabel, and give attribution and credit where due.

    Personally, I think that ccmixter is already quite open to collaborative endeavors. People contact one about working together on things, or checking out if a use is okay. I like to remix in photo and video, and certainly mixter content as well as CC flickr content can be ideal for that.

    I would go on at length about how it is to have a cool melody, and scan the spoken word a capella tracks for the right mood, and fail to find it. The world would be a happier place if
    more collaborators posted 2 minute 30 second or so bits of workable words for morphing, adjusting, and, well, remixing. But I’ll go no longer than this obvious general statement.

    I like CC as an expression of culture in real time, whether for a vlog, a podcast, a netlabel, or a home-made video. To me, the paradigm of “will it sell?” is less important than the paradigm of “does it spread that new culture?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *