This past summer I was required to create remixes of tunes I never heard because another composer missed their deadline. I had to have four remixes done for a dance performance in two day. This put me in quite the creative quandary. How was I going to keep this creative project from crashing 120 miles per hour into a concrete wall? I decided that the easiest solution was to dig into my hard drive and remix some of my old tunes. This approach worked for two of the remixes, but I became troubled when the remixes just sounded stereotypically like me. To avoid this performance turning into an obvious self-love fest , I decided that I needed to find somebody else’s music to remix.
I solved this problem by asking Adam to send me one of his electronic pieces and I could remix the tune right in the original Ableton Live set. I was forwarded this unreleased bizarre mash up of a spoken word chant by Adam and David Lang’s electo-violin face melting shred fest known as Killer. Adam sampled Killer and created a polyrhythmic industrial beat to emphasize the rhythms on his text about trees and leaves. I decided for my remix I would keep all of his clips the same, pitch the text, replace the killer samples with drum samples and increase the tempo to ludicrous speed. The result is this off-kilter drum beat that sounds like a full tool box in a broken washing machine with quantization.
For most of my music school training, I was taught to recreate the music as it existed on the page for best result. I don’t know if this process always results in the best musical product. I find myself more interested in taking the music on the page and mangling, transforming and wringing it into something completely alien. For now the meandering path is more interesting than the straight and narrow.