Imperialism and the Sampling of World Sound


Session Title:

  • Recombinant Culture

Presentation Title:

  • Imperialism and the Sampling of World Sound




  • The sounds of the world’s musics are easily available on sampled disks, sound cards, and synthesizers, all as easy to emulate as an oboe, tympani, or car crash. What kind of music will be constructed out of material that sees the world’s cultures as sources for sound to be lifted from its context and combined at will? The presentation will take the form of a step-by-step examination of one example of this cultural imperialism: the Korg Ethnic Sound Card. An attempt will be made to determine if there are good ways to appropriate the musics of the world through sampling and synthesis. The implications of this appropriation of sound for multicultural understanding will be considered.