March 10th, 2004


For these half dozen of you who know me well enough to be looking at this thing, you may have heard of the one we call 'Kreidler'. Well Michael Kreidler, my Berkeley roommate, has left for 2.5 YEARS of a Peace Corps assignment in the Ukraine. If you'd like to follow his adventures, add this link to your livejournal friends.

Synthesis (

Synthesis is combining things together to create something new. In elementary school it was one of the areas of focus on some state standardized test. It's interesting, because current copyright law makes certain kinds of synthesis nearly illegal, to protect the intellectual property that would be used as components. There is an emerging genre of music, called mash-ups. Mash-ups attempt to overlay 2 different songs, preferably as different as possible, to create something which is neither.

A group called 2manyDJs was the first to catch my ear with this genre. They made an album by overlaying these song pairs

emerson, lake and palmer "theme from peter gun"
basement jaxx "where's your head at?"

sly & the family stone "dance to the music"
ready for the world "oh sheila"

the stooges "no fun"
salt'n pepa "push it"

the breeders "cannonball"
skeelo "i wish"

You get the idea. It was fun, and new, but old. It didn't fit well into any existing categories. An excellent synthesis. In fact this one was even legal. They managed to get the rights to all of the component songs.

Other folks have taken this new idea and produced new works, some legal, many not. There was a bit of press lately about "The Grey Album", an illegal mashup.

Well I just heard Are You A Visionary (mp3) a great mashup, by the Kleptones (great name) mixing 3 layers.

And I think the 3 pieces contrast nicely and sound great -- Click here to listen.

And if you create something like a song, an website, or anything, which you'd be willing to share consider using a license that allows others, to build on your creation to create something new. Even if you don't want to give away all rights, use a license that lets you easily choose what rights you want to reserve.

Creative Commons License

  • Current Music
    Are You A Visionary - The Kleptones