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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Your Own Monster: Sampling in the Work of Nick Zammuto, Tom Waits, and Paul D. Miller

  • Author(s): Jones, Molly Elisabeth
  • Advisor(s): Mitchell, Nicole
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

Nick Zammuto of The Books, Tom Waits, and Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky compose using strategies developed through their experiences of sampling. Despite their diverse artistic backgrounds and output, all three participate in sampling culture by drawing on and remixing a wide variety of sound sources into "[their] own monster." They allude to different eras and genres by drawing on historical and contemporary production techniques. Zammuto, Waits, and Miller share philosophies of sound perception, compositional processes, and live performance practices, and they use samples poetically as semantic units; these artists manipulate the complete aural history of the listener as compositional material to create personal, nonspecific meaning. This multivalent approach offers multiple entry points for listeners. They invite listeners to engage with their work with multiple senses and respect their audience as co-creators of the artistic experience.

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