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DJ Spooky

DJ Spooky (Paul D. Miller) is a composer, author, producer, and electronic and experimental hip-hop musician. His stage name, "That Subliminal Kid," is borrowed from the character The Subliminal Kid[…]

“My work is just trying to make sense of the disorienting and overloaded world that we inhabit,” says the DJ.

Question: Is there a basic philosophy behind your work as a rnsound artist?
 
DJ Spooky: rnI’d say most of my work is just trying to make sense of therndisorienting and overloaded world that we inhabit.  We’re bombardedrnwith sound at every level.  Sound... if you look at bats you know thatrnnavigate with sonar, they’re like you know they’re very precise.  Theyrncan even see a bat head towards a building and swerve away, but you’llrnsee a bird that doesn’t… you know smash right into a glass window. rnIt’s very funny.  I mean I don’t…  Anybody out there that has probablyrnseen that is like oh, it’s terrible.  Like if you’re ever in arnskyscraper and you see a bird just flies right into the side ofrnwindow.  Whales, for example, also navigate with sound, but they’re nowrnbeginning to be beached because the ocean is getting too noisy.  Weirdrnthings like that.  I mean this is very real.  Like, if you look at thernsatellites in the sky at night you know it’s an eerie sense of we’re… rnYou know we’re in a planet surrounded by certain kinds of frequenciesrnand noise.  The earth’s magnetic sphere makes weird sounds.  The sunrnyou know the heart of our solar system makes noise.  Even interstellarrnphenomena like black holes.  You know people have studied them and arnblack hole can emit sound in like the range of 20,000 octaves below Brnflat.  You know I mean that’s a lot…  That’s a very low tone.  So yeah,rnhow do I think of my environment and what happens with sound art?  Irnlove to play with the idea of elusive and intangible things.  Thatrncould be psychological.  It could be perceptual.  It could be just thernway your ears help you just navigate around.  Try this experiment,rnclosing your eyes and navigating with your ears.  It’s eerie becausernwalls, you can actually hear your footstep maybe bounce off of or yourncan feel the vibration of your voice and help that… use that tornnavigate. So sound art I’m always intrigued with how little we use ofrnother senses and we just prioritize the eye and you just want to seerneverything and navigate.  You know the art world is similar.  Like Irnwish people would use their ears a lot more.

Recorded on April 8, 2010
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