My Remixes

Someone asked me why I haven’t produced a remix for you guys to enjoy. Well, the fact is, I do a lot of this, but not in visual media. My preference has been to do it with music and in my writing.  Unfortunately, the recordings for a lot of my older musical “remixes” are gone… I lost them when I moved from Montreal to Korea.

My most recent fiction publication was, in fact, a remix of 1950s science fiction and 1940s jazz culture, especially the voice of Miles Davis as represented in his autobiography, “Miles.” But that’s not available for free online — it costs $3 to get an electronic copy of the issue of the July 2008 Asimov’s SF with my story in it, and even more to get a copy of the print edition — so I thought I’d pass some other things for you to enjoy for free.

Here are three musical “remixes” I’ve participated in:

  • Boat Song (뱃 노래) (mp3): This is a “remix” of the old Korean song that I performed with Dabang Band (다방밴드) back in 2002-2004, and released this on our first CD, which was called “Pig Over Seoul.” We mixed it with blues and made it a kind of waltz. I’m playing the saxophone.
  • The Jeonju Zoo (mp3): This is a “remix” of European Jewish traditional music, called “klezmer music”, with rock. This was also recorded and performed with Dabang Band (다방밴드)back in 2003 on our album “Product.” The lyrics are about how, in Korean, “Zoo” is pronounced to sound like “Jew” and how confusing it is when someone asks if you’ve visited the “Jeonju Zoo.” I’m playing saxophone, as usual.
  • Apocrypha, Live ’98 (mp3): This is a LONG mp3: a remix I performed with a “live ambient” (ie. live electronica) group called “Apocrypha” back in 1998, when, imagine, I was about the same age as most students in our class now are. As usual, I’m playing saxophone, and occasionally reciting a bad poem or two. There’s a singer and two DJs running the tracks. A lot of the tracks are from CDs by Pete Namlook and other ambient musicians whose names escape my memory, but there is also a track by John Cage (“In a Landscape”) mixed in, and it starts with “The Sinking of the Titanic” by Gavin Bryars.

    In fact, our performance was recorded live to multitrack tape digital recorder, and then remixed by a producer who was friends with one of the DJs. So there’s a lot of re-re-remixing going on here. It’s messy, but it’s not bad in my opinion.

    (See? Messy and imperfect is okay!)

So as you can see, I’m no stranger to remixing. In fact, I’d say every creative person in the world to some degree “remixes” what came before them… just as Lawrence Lessig argues in the book we’ve been reading!

I look forward to seeing your remixes soon! By the way, title them however you like… I’ll try collect the links and post them here after class tomorrow.

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