In collaboration with Susan Schmidt Horning
Technology, Transcultural Idioms, and the Question of Authenticity: Brian Eno and David Byrne in the Studio
Abstract Asif Siddiqi investigates Brian Eno’s and David Byrne’s early efforts in appropriating non-Western sounds within Western pop music. His focus is on Eno’s and Byrne’s recording “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” (1981), one of the first pop albums to use sampling techniques as their dominant artistic tool and one that was highly influential to subsequent generations of musicians. In this album the two musicians and record producers attempted to subvert prevailing notions of authorship and authenticity by distributing creative agency through a new kind of communal formation – based in the studio, but drawn from the world. Despite their best intentions, their appropriation of non-Western sounds through modern studio practices perfectly highlighted a set of contradictions about how technology can and has mediated our understanding of the valence of popular music in a globalized and unequal world.
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