Jon Leidecker is a veteran sound artist concerned with a process called “sampling”, or perhaps more accurately “appropriative collage”.

He’s worked with People Like Us, Fred Frith, Matmos (and many more) and is a member of Negativland.

This practice has led to a thorough examination of the history of sampling, and this research led to a commission from the Museum of Modern Art Barcelona to make a “podcast” about that history.

Jon will present an hour long version of this amazing history with aural illustrations.

M.C. Schmidt will round out this evening by projecting some videos related to this subject material from his extensive collection of video art.

Please join us for this talk and video work beginning at 9PM.

This event is FREE.


Here’s a precis, with bolding inserted to make these paragraphs more visually stimulating:


Morton Feldman‘s remark that “The degree to which a music’s notation is responsible for much of the composition itself is one of history’s best-kept secrets” referred to the medium of sheet music.  But the comment is just as true now that the site of the musical composition has migrated from written notation to the captured recording.  The creative process of modern music production is revealed to the listening audience in the form of collage and sampling music precisely through its use of familiar materials;  through a demonstration of how known compositions and sounds can be transformed, the tools used by all sound engineers to construct modern popular music are made transparent.

Although there is nothing new at all in the practice of using pre-existing musical material as the basis for a new composition, the use of sound recordings challenge the paradigm of the individual creator which was enabled by the advent of written notation.  Sound records provide a more accurate document of communal influences and multiple authorship, leading to a music with a new and audible ideology, which is increasingly in direct conflict with the concept of intellectual property.  Setting examples from both formal art music practioners alongside million-selling popular music experiments with collage from novelty singles to disco and hip-hop, this lecture charts the development of a creative practice which is now so prevalent as to have become nearly invisible, even though its key messages have yet to be widely understood.

Event location:

The Red Room at Normals Books and Records 425 E. 31st Street Baltimore, MD 21218

The Red Room is a volunteer-run space in Baltimore dedicated to mind-expanding experimental culture, headquartered at Normals Books and Records.