20 March 2006

Nate Harrison's Can I Get An Amen?

"A society free to borrow and build on the past is culturally richer than a controlled one." - Laurence Lessig

I meant to post about Nate Harrison's Can I Get An Amen? weeks ago when I first saw the post about it on Some Velvet Blog. I wanted to share it because it's something everyone who visits this site will enjoy listening to. In fact, listening to it got me thinking about copyrights in a completely different manner than before.

First, a bit about it:

"Can I Get An Amen? is an audio installation that unfolds a critical perspective of perhaps the most sampled drum beat in the history of recorded music, the Amen Break. It begins with the pop track Amen Brother by 60's soul band The Winstons, and traces the transformation of their drum solo from its original context as part of a 'B' side vinyl single into its use as a key aural ingredient in contemporary cultural expression. The work attempts to bring into scrutiny the techno-utopian notion that 'information wants to be free'- it questions its effectiveness as a democratizing agent. This as well as other issues are foregrounded through a history of the Amen Break and its peculiar relationship to current copyright law."
You can view the main page for this installation HERE.

Click HERE to watch and listen to Can I Get An Amen? (total running time 17 minutes, 46 seconds).