Plunderphonics

Plunderphonics is an underground musical art form that took off somewhere in the latter part of the 20th Century and entails the re-arranging / re-defining of pre-recorded music in order to create a new expression.

John Oswald is the pioneering artist in the field and when I was exposed to his music in college, I found myself wanting to explore this area more. I was also introduced to some music by another abstract / experimental music artist that brought me even closer: John Cage. (John Cage is well known for his brilliant methods of “creating” new music from so-called “ordinary” sounds. His 4’33” is a perfect example of this.)

For me, plunderphonics isn’t about an act of piracy in order to gain profit or fame. It isn’t about trying to “blemish” someone’s music, or to destroy it. To me, it’s the perfect medium with which to critique trends and concepts that may or may not be invoked by the original music. It’s about taking a familiar song and turning it upside down to force the listener to actively participate and reflect on what was and what may become of something.

Just as life is continually evolving, so too can music. And just as there can be interruptions in time and space, music too can leap forward and backward, tearing through various spaces.

Nothing should ever be stuck in one mode.