Song Division

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Song-division-poster-front.png Song-division-poster-back.png

06 October / 02 November / 16 November 2011
Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London, NW3 6DG
020 7472 5500


Artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White develop a series of experimental events exploring the sonic potentials of materials gleaned from the edges of the public domain. Simpson and White have sourced a range of songs from early commercial releases that are currently subject to a conflict in copyright status through a split in ownership between lyrics and musical composition. Manuscripts and recordings have been edited, redacted, cut-up and processed to suppress copyright-secured elements and enable the release of public domain layers from the proprietary control of commercial publishers. Invited guests process the collected material through short live performances.

This hauntological experiment plugs into the beginnings of the recording industry at a time when emerging models of peer-to-peer distribution and collaborative production are urgently problematising established notions around the authorship, ownership and distribution of culture.

The material generated for the project forms the basis of a soundtrack for the artists’ ambitious upcoming film Auditory Learning.

Thursday 06 October 7.00 – 8.30pm

DJ set: Eileen Simpson and Ben White
1920s, 30s and 40s recordings are altered and encoded through autotune, reversed playback and flipped lyrics — techniques ported from R&B and HipHop production. The resultant filtering ensures the suppression of layers still under proprietary ownership but enables the escape of copyright-expired elements that are, for the first time, released into the public domain.

Wednesday 02 November 7.00 – 8.00pm

Live performance: Leafcutter John
Electronic artist Leafcutter John re-visits the material collected for the 6th October DJ set for an exclusive new live performance.

Wednesday 16 November 7.00 – 8.00pm

Live performance: Lauren Doss AKA Mechanical Bride
Mechanical Bride works with the material from the 6th October DJ set and plugs her fractured, stripped back approach to vocals and melody into the project.

Live performances approx 20 mins with accompanying DJ set. Listen live


Click here for source material


Researcher: Matthew White