[spectre] "The road to plunderphonia", an essay by Chris Cutler

Radio Web MACBA rwm2008 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 5 11:56:20 CET 2011

In "The road to plunderphonia" Chris Cutler looks at the critical role of
memory – on which both the origination and reproduction of music turns – and
attempts to unpick to what extent the specific nature of a memory system
shapes the music that it mediates, with reference, especially, to the third
and newest of these systems: sound recording. Chris investigates how the
fact and the practice of sound recording have transformed every aspect of
production and reception in the field of organised sound, creating wholly
new genres and understandings. If the medium is the message, this essay is
an attempt to understand what the message of this system is.

Link: http://bit.ly/fp2QVT
PDF: http://bit.ly/doEnzf

"The Road to Plunderphonia" also works as an accompaniment to VARIATIONS (
http://rwm.macba.cat/en/variations_tag), the Radio Web MACBA series on the
history of music collage and sampling curated by Jon Leidecker.

On Chris Cutler:
At the start of the seventies, Chris Cutler co-founded The Ottawa Music
Company - a 22-piece Rock composer's orchestra - before joining British
experimental group Henry Cow, with whom he toured, recorded and worked in
dance and theatre projects for the next eight years. Subsequently he
co-founded a series of mixed national groups: Art Bears, News from Babel,
Cassiber, The (ec) Nudes, p53 and The Science Group, and was a permanent
member of American bands Pere Ubu, Hail and The Wooden Birds. Outside a
succession of special projects for stage, theatre, film and radio he still
works consistently in successive projects with Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins,
Jon Rose, David Thomas, Peter Blegvad, Daevid Allen, The Bad Boys Collective
and spectralists Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana Maria Avram.

Recent projects include commissioned works for radio, various live movie
soundtracks, pieces for the Hyperion Ensemble, Signe de Trois for
surround-sound projection, a daily year-long soundscape project for
Resonance FM, London and p53 for Orchestra and Soloists. He also founded and
runs the independent label ReR Megacorp and the art distribution service
Gallery and Academic and is author of the theoretical collection File Under
Popular - as well as of numerous articles and papers published in sixteen

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