Steve Kilisky's Dynamic Media Blog

February 10, 2006

Found Voices and Images

In 1981 Brian Eno collaborated with David Byrne to record one of my desert island "must-haves" My Life in the Bush of Ghosts . The album was monumental for me for two reasons: 1) it was my introduction to world beats, and 2) it was the first album I heard that incorporated "found voices".

I was fascinated by the concept of taking recordings of voices from radio broadcasts and other recordings and "re-mixing" them into new songs unlike anything I had ever heard at the time. 25 years later the album stands the test of time and sound as fresh as it did then and given the broad use of sampling can be viewed as a source of inspiration for many recordings that are so commonplace today.

So hear I go again rambling off-topic. What's the connection? Well, I was cleaning out my bookmarks file this weekend and visited the Big Idea section of Getty's Web site and viewed the videos using imagery from Getty's library, and I associated it as being a visual equivalent of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. I was intrigued by the way the artists combined the imagery to create stories, and see/hear them talk about how they approached the project.

The Next Big Idea is underway. I am looking forward to seeing stories using found imagery evolves over time.

Posted by Steve Kilisky at 2:16 PM on February 10, 2006

Comments

Adolfo Rozenfeld — 10:27 PM on March 2, 2006

"America is waiting...." :)
Truly a fantastic one. It was sample based music before samplers (at least before samplers were mass produced).
Steve: here's my regards from a long time AE lover and divulgator from Argentina.
BTW, I would like to know if there's a way in which I could contact you through e-mail? (for a specialized web site interview)
All the best!


Adolfo Rozenfeld — 10:34 PM on March 2, 2006

Steve: I forgot to mention that Godfrey Reggio's latest film "Naqoyqatsi" is almost entirely made from library and found footage elements. There really is a conceptual connection to the Eno/Byrne work.
As good as the idea is, I have to say that I didn't like so much the actual execution. I have the impression that Reggio is more at home with true documentary/photographic production (as in Kotaanisqatsti) than he is with the digital medium, where he seems a bit naive and even cheesy for 2006 standards.
Still worth watching as an experiment.

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