DJ Spooky mentions the phrase, “the changing same”. What he goes on to say is that the “changing same” is a phrase Amiri Baraka coined which means, creating different versions of everything that already exists and changing these versions constantly. Basically they are making changes, but it all come from the same foundation.
He encourages young composers to think about the world around them. He is saying that we, as young composers, grew up with an understanding of technology. It is part of our culture now, and not just something reserved for the select few. He says, “They aren’t alienated from theses technological and geographical phenomenon, they are born into them.” I take this to mean that we are born with the basic understanding of the technologies that enable us to remix/change something. So he’s asking why we’re looking backwards and using the same stuff like the 12-tone music and Wagner. All movie soundtracks shouldn’t sound the same because we are clearly capable of so much more. We can create something new, so we shouldn’t be hearing the same soundtrack or beat “day after day, night after night.”
Something he said on page 28 stuck with me. He says that we all internalize our environments differently, and how we interpret it is unique to us. He says, “who is going to control how the information eventually resurfaces?” and “At the end of the day it’s all about reprocessing the world around you…we’re never going to remember anything exactly the way it happened.” I think this relates back to his lecture about young composers who need to think about the world around them. We have to pay attention to the world, and create something from it. We all relate to it differently so everything we come up with will be different. He says back on page 16 that we “haven’t engaged how much we can hear”. Our entire environment is available to us for creation and we’ve taken it all in, but we haven’t truly engaged with it. For me this goes back to what it means to remix. Taking things and completely changing them to mean something else, something new. Basically there are no excuses to keep everything constant. Everything in this world is up to interpretation and we have the tools we need to do it. He’s saying that we have access to the technology, the environment around us, and the individual brain power that allows us different interpretations.
My question is this. Even if you are remixing to make something new, it’s all coming from technically the same thing that was already in existence. Even if an artist is drawing inspiration from something already in place, his work is not entirely new if it is based off of something else. Is there anything out there that’s truly novel and completely new?