I wanted to share the story of ninja forums and their online collaboration on music. Alas this is not my project or initiative, my housemate and good friend was a participant and I thought it was pretty cool, definitely worth a share.
Its role in cultural blends is an interesting one, everybody involved shares the demographic of a) being interested and capable of making electronic music/ sounds, b) has access to the internet and is a member of ninja forums. Beyond that however these people could be anything. No knowledge of age, gender, ethnicity, technical ability, class etc ect.
The project is a sort of pass the parcel of layers in a track, or tracks in an album. Someone starts and then each successive person edits and adds to the track they are sent, or another format, each person creates a section and blends it into the section they were sent as to create a continuous piece. My friends and I attempted something similar however we knew each other well and could anticipate the directions or styles the others would use, I’m not sure if social hierarchy played a part consciously but where different levels of skill are known, then the subconscious implications on how to edit the track were present. E.g. the best technical ability is equated to the best musical contribution.
Something wonderful about the anonymity of online collaboration is the possibility of letting go of that (in my opinion) reductive concept of “quality” and “authorship”. Also I think its indicative of the trend I experience as the removal of idolization of the individual and embracing the collective. Everything comes from the collective, whether this is recognized or not has tended us to overlook the power of loose, temporal, and unqualified contributions to all art and thinking. This removal of hierarchy and cultural blending go together. The idea that we (the west, the uk, the educated, etc) are more developed individually because we have been enjoying relative economic and technological hierarchy has been dying for a long while now. Anonymous collaboration and the unjaded power of music compel us to accept cultural blending as firmly established way of making better thinking.
Also worth a note that this operated outside the institutions of music, is not funded, sponsored or directed in any way at money making, and allows sampling.
http://vimeo.com/35208252- the link to the video and track with description and further links.
"The game was played between March and August 2011 by members of the Ninja Tune Records online community forum ( ninjatune.co.uk/forum/ ). The idea behind the game was that the first participant would produce four bars of original music, send the finished four bars to a nominated member who would assemble the finished pierce, and then send just their fourth bar to the next player who would then develop their own four bars from that point and repeat the process. Certain rules were put in places to aid the process as outlined in the image attached to this video (or here: flickr.com/photos/redhavoc/6043588948). Listen to Cut And Run on SoundCloud here: soundcloud.com/redhavocmedia/cut-and-run "