Moving to Freedom, .Org

Thru-You: Kutiman, the YouTube Maestro

I’m in awe. I’m awestruck. I’ve visited the land of awesome.

There is so much great stuff on the internet that you might despair of all that you will never see. But then there are the gems you find.

For example: Thru-You.

Kutiman, according to Wikipedia, is an Israeli musician, composer, producer, and animator. And he has made something wonderful for which I’m very grateful.

This is the first of a collection of songs that Kutiman created by mixing together clips of people singing and playing instruments on YouTube. The Mother of All Funk Chords :

The artistry in weaving together these songs out of the cacophony of YouTube is extraordinary. The song above credits and links to 22 different videos. It’s interesting to look at the source videos. They range from mundane to very good on their own, and I just can’t get over Kutiman’s creativity in making something so beautiful from them. The audio and visual presentation is stunning. How do you find and piece all that together in a coherent way?

I missed this one at first. I seem to remember passing over something about it one day when skimming through my feeds, but I got another chance when Crosbie Fitch posted Art Outlaws Without Lawful Reward.

Mike Masnick at techdirt (linked above) and Crosbie both have good commentary (as usual) about the copyright implications. For me it’s yet another example of why artists must be free to do this kind of work. Kutiman is an amazing artist. The thought that he could be prevented from making these songs, or that they could be forced down because of claims by the “rights holders,” is intolerable. Okay: maybe not intolerable, but it is awful that our current copyright law puts this kind of expression at risk.

The individual contributors to this art are conscientiously credited at the Thru-You website and on the YouTube pages, and I think that’s all that is called for. They uploaded their bits to YouTube, where a brilliant creative mind found and collected their work to create something new. Something exciting. Internet-enabled synthesis, art born out of the multitude expressing themselves and sharing with the world. I want to see and be inspired by more like this, and read less about the hindrance of copyright.

I urge you to check out these songs, and to explore some of the source material. Like this unassuming snippet of trombone playing, Estudo em Fa Maior - Thiago Soares - Trombone :

Which takes on a haunting significance in Thru-You #2, This Is What It Became :

I enjoyed reading (and contributing) some of the comments on the source videos from people who discovered them through Kutiman’s remixes. What I’ve seen so far has been complimentary. It’s neat that the videos have taken on a new life. I hope that the individual performers are enjoying the attention brought on by their unexpected participation in such a fun project.