Curating The Week: Samplers, Samples, The Creative Paradox

• A documentary about the Fairlight CMI sampler.

“We started just sort of sampling anything we could get our hands on to see how it would sound when it played back at different pitches. I happened to have this record [Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite] on my shelf…and I recorded the first half a second of one of the tracks [“Infernal Dance of King Kashchei”] and it was the whole orchestra playing a big chord…This is arguably the most famous Fairlight sound.”

An essay about sampling in the music of Burial.

“Sampling — that is, the reconstitution and arrangement of prerecorded sounds (musical or otherwise) into something fundamentally different yet (potentially) still recognisable — is, in many ways, a hauntological act. Sample-based music affords a new existence to old sounds, a new reality that reinvents the audio fragment as something simultaneously old and new, both present and absent. As phenomena that reproduce the gestures and expressions of the departed, the no longer here, recordings themselves hold the power of resurrection—of exorcism.”

• A comic by Grant Snider about the creative paradox.

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