Archive for the ‘Sampling Culture’ Category

Sampling in Electroacoustic Music


Simon Waters, a composer and theorist of electroacoustic music, analyses the practice of sampling:

Sampling as a technique is paradigmatic of the uneasy relation between tradition and innovation, incorporating the archival instinct of the former and the speculative and exploratory impulse of the latter. Sampling can be regarded as the ultimate time-manipulation tool, the ultimate musical tool of repetition and therefore of recontextualisation. (Waters 2000: 71)

Sampling can be regarded, then, as representing an important step in the re-empowerment of ‚listeners’ as composers, both in the sense that new configurations of familiar sounds encourage ‚listening again’ and in the more profound sense that sampling blurs the distinction between technologies of production and reproduction and therefore between composer and listener (Waters 2000: 76).

This aesthetic approach to sound has been increasingly adopted by film makers and sound designers.

Waters, Simon (2000). ‘Beyond the acousmatic: hybrid tendencies in electroacoustric music’ in: Simon Emmerson (editor): Music, Electronic Media and Culture, Aldershot, Ashgate 2000, pp. 56-83.


Sampling the history of audio-visual culture

  • Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933, Fritz Lang)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994, Quentin Tarantino)
  • Requiem for a Dream (2000, Darren Aronofsky)
  • Dancer in the Dark (2000, Lars von Trier)