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Open Source Music

By Rhizome

When one speaks of 'open source culture,' they are typically referring to the social conditions created in an atmosphere of sharing. Open source software is not only freely available, its source code is also revealed to encourage collective authorship, improvement, and personalization. The increasing popularity of such publishing contexts has led to a broader movement of activists, coders, lawyers, artists, and others questioning contemporary copyright law, and challenging the 'code' that prohibits collaboration. American sound artist Demon Doctor carries these concerns over into his work, equating music with language and sounds with letters, ultimately asking 'who owns the alphabet.' For his new album, 'Onliness v1.0.1,' the artist sampled public archives of ethnographic recordings, found phonography, and film scores, and reprocessed them using analog and digital synthesizers to create twenty-one new brick-hop and trancehall tracks. 'Onliness' premieres at Boston's Samson Projects on Saturday, November 11th, where Demon Doctor will collaborate with DJ Spase1, in a series of live interpretive mashups, carrying the open source ideal into a performative realm. Needless to say, the entire album is freely downloadable, so readers can remix the tracks for themselves. - Marisa Olson

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