Paul Miller
Sound Unbound

March 20, 2009
Suzanne Thorpe

The ability to digitize music, art, and literature has blurred distinctions between heretofore-individual practices and generated new ideas as to what a composer can create. Interdisciplinary practices have synthesized, with growing cultural amalgams, phenomena that are the basis for Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture. Edited by Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, Sound Unbound is a collection of essays that presents evolving approaches to musical practice. It focuses on an emerging crossover culture in music and presents the family tree from which that approach has grown. Demonstrative of Miller’s sampling style and reflective of the book’s subject, Miller invited a broad spectrum of artists to describe their compositional strategies, including contributions from composer Steve Reich, novelist Jonathan Lethem, researcher Ron Eglash, rapper Chuck D, and composer Brian Eno, to name a few. An interdisciplinary work in its own right, the book features a compilation CD of avant-garde artists, including Nam Jun Paik, the Dada Movement, John Cage, and Sonic Youth. The photo above, incidentally, is Paul Miller on a recent trip to Antarctica.

Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture

Recently, in an interview with Joel Chadabe for Arts Electric, Paul Miller expanded on the concepts and theories behind the book, discussing how media affects our lives and influences our culture. Part I of the interview highlights Miller’s exploration of culture fusion and hypothesizes upon its results, and Part II focuses on the contributing authors.

Part I

Paul Miller speaks about crossover culture in music

Part II

Paul Miller discuss contributing authors to Sound Unbound

Sound Unbound is available at CDeMusic.