Home > Uncategorized > Music as a Rhizome

Music as a Rhizome

While I can’t play an instruments, my real interest in life is music. I particularly love the thinking about the future of music and where the industry is headed. That’s why when I reached the line “Music has always sent out lines of flight, like so many “transformational multiplicities,” even overturning the very codes that structure or arborify it; that is why musical form, right down to its ruptures and proliferations, is comparable to a weed, a rhizome” (12). These words really struck a cord with me, particularly give the new popularity of the “remix.” Never have lines of flight in the music genre been more apparent. Even one song can have hundreds of remixes, in fact a popular promotion tactic now is to have a remix competition. In this way an artists can promote themselves by making their music an interactive experience.

Take the case of Major Lazer. DJs Diplo and Switch combined heads to create this concept album about a fiction Jamaican guerilla fighter with a laser gun for a right arm. The “Major” flies around on a rock propelled skateboard killing zombies, mummies, and vampires. Part of the promotion they have created for this album is a remix competition in which participants can remix one of three tracks from the album right online. An individual does not even need software of ones own to get involved, the program is free right on the website.

Deleuze and Guattari contend that “the rhizome is altogether different, a map and not a tracing.” That being said this idea of the remix is all together a re-tracing of the original song. Always incorporating at least one aspect of the original song, the remix is never altogether new material and yet the best are always fresh and inventive. In this way I think the remix really highlights the idea that “the tracing should always be put back on the map.” Although these remixes can be take a very different approach to a song, they remain tangential to the original song. They are at once filled with new material, and also tracing a path that has already been laid out for them, they are simply walking it in a different way.

The interactive community of remixes is certainly a rhizome of their own, as they constantly remix each others works in essence becoming one artist. It seems a courtesy to remix a track by someone who has remixed yours. In this way the rhizome continues to interacte and connect with itself while remaining without structure. 

Thats what I have to say about the remix for now. If anyone wants any, simply ask because I have thousands.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 27, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    A rather elegant connection with remixes! You could probably turn this into a final project if you wanted, although it’d take a really good programming background, finding a way interactively/visually generate new mixes from a base set in something that has the connective flexibility of the rhizome metaphor.

  2. bseaman
    September 28, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    A remix can also be a set of fragment maps or relational maps…they define a map of abstractions that can be compared to the original.

    The remix always explores a relationality.

    IN my text “Oulipo VS Recombinant Poetics” I also talk about the remix (see paper at billseaman.com). the “VS” is a form that remix artist also appropriates as a playful abstraction of the work of the other is entertained.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: