Live Sampling


I got interested in the idea of live sampling in the late 90s, principally through messing around with STEIM’s LiSa application. This program offered a very interesting new approach to sampling where you have completely open access to a sample buffer, so you can start playing a sample back before you’ve even finished recording it (kind of like Sky plus, I guess). You can have lots of fun recording and playing back sounds in various strange non-linear ways, and can have all sorts of seperate recording and playing back going on at the same time, acting on the same buffer. Cool but confusing..

I worked with a number of improvising musicians – here you can hear recordings with Keith Tippett (track #2) and Paul Dunmall (track #3), along with my friend Alistair MacDonald (on both of the above), also doing strange technological things. When I couldn’t find musicians to work with I tried other sources – I worked in particular with records, doing things like sticking labels on them to make them skip in a controlled manner (something plenty of other people have done too, I know). You’ll hear this in tracks 1 and 4. All these clips are from live performances, in Berlin, Dartington, Belfast and London respectively.

LiSa is still going strong, but I’m now mostly doing my own (similar) thing with Max/MSP.


in Live