Sampling The Olympics

Michael Bierylo, a professor at Berklee, noticed this cool Samsung commercial while in Scotland, and suggests that it shows that the Luigi Russolo’s idea of an Art of Noises has gone mainstream:

“At the beginning of the twentieth century a composer named Luigi Russolo authored a manifesto called The Art of Noises, where he called for a new pallet of sounds for music that would reflect a more modern time. The early 20th century way of pulling this off was to bring bells, sirens, and motorized gadgets on stage with an orchestra –check out George Antheil’s Ballet Mecanique. While this served as the inspiration for a minor musical movement in the 1920’s, the whole idea soon faded away. That is until samplers came along in the 1980’s. Once the sample genie was let out of the bottle, everyone from rappers to synth poppers made music out of any sound you could imagine.

So what makes this Samsung commercial so compelling to me? It’s really remarkable that an idea that was so radical in the last century can now be put front and center before a prime-time, mass market audience on mainstream TV. The idea that you can grab just about any sound, loop it and make music may be familiar to electronic musicians, but putting in front of the summer’s biggest ad market is pretty darn cool.”

Bierylo is right – the image of a DJ as a sort of conductor of music and noise is mainstream and has become a powerful icon.

But while hip hop and electronica have made the use of “noise” routine in music, hasn’t this also removed much of its shock value?

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