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Copydex: Second (Guleph) Broadcast

Lookup NU author(s): Dr William Edmondes


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Copydex’s field of operation is radio and live DJ sets. The project explores the possibilities beyond established plunderphonics, John Oswald’s name for what can be considered orthodox vernacular music collage. More specifically, it is an enquiry into whether one can collage quotations from old records (redundant commodities) to suggest a new musical grammar for sampling based on rupture (as in Hip Hop) rather than the recontextualization prevalent in plunderphonics – juxtaposing (often kitsch) fragments of recorded music into a detourned, usually ironic, but credible, narrative. This is the second hour-long piece for Frequent Mutilations, a Saturday night programme on Guelph’s CKMS devoted to music collage. Copydex’s first was broadcast on June 2nd 2007. The name Copydex was chosen both to distinguish it from the more manipulative treatment of sampling in the Gwilly Edmondez and Virginia Pipe projects, and to emphasise the literality of the discipline’s finders-keepers quotation aesthetic. A key objective is to emulate Kurt Schwitters’ approach to collage in his Merzbilder, in which the intrinsic qualities of diverse and incongruous materials dialogue in an intuitively improvised composition. While Copydex still retains some of the syntactic logic found in plunderphonics - preserving the metric symmetry of a phrase, making sources match up - as a starting point, the intention is to rupture the flow and destabilise narrative (for example at 8’, 12’ & 47’, locatable at track-marks 3, 4 & 18) Moreover, Schwitters remains an emblematic example in maintaining collage as daily practice, developing skills in a manner largely dictated by the materials. Copydex uses a portable turntable (Numark PT-01) to accumulate sounds on a hardware sampler (Roland SP404). The machine is configured so that sounds are assembled (composed) in ‘banks’ of 12. Every performance is played (improvised ‘live’), another point at which Copydex diverges from plunderphonic orthodoxy, wherein composing finished tableaux with software is the norm.

Publication metadata

Composer(s): Edmondes W

Publication type: Musical Composition

Publication status: Published

Year: 2007

Publisher: CKMS-FM 100.3 (Guelph, Ontario)

Place Published: Canada

Type of Work: Radio Broadcast (recorded on CD)