In the Beginning is the Remixing
Springboards for reflection while
considering the social and theological
significance of the DJ and DJ culture
The essence of DJ-ing as mixing and remixing.
Mixing, juxtaposing, and creating something new out of what is already there.
The DJ as performing artist.
"DJ Culture in the Mix (Bloomsbury, 2013) edited by Bernardo Attias, Anna Gavans and Hilegonda Rietveld is a book that explores, in its own unique way, the ever-changing landscape of DJ culture, particularly in the genre known as electronic dance music (EDM). The book focuses on the DJ specifically as an artist. This approach is much-needed in a time when the DJ has become ubiquitous in the mainstream."
DJ culture as a subject of academic study.
EN: It appears that DJ culture is becoming an emerging field in academia. What do you think this means for EDM, and DJing as a creative act? Does an academic interest mean that DJ culture is entering a similar position as other music genres?
The DJ as "potential" agent of constructive change.
WHAT WE DO
Remixing as the cultivation of contrasts in human life.
Yet, Whitehead insightfully notes, the absence of mutual inhibition is not sufficient to achieve deeply beautiful experience. Beauty requires not only the absence of conflict (harmony), but also the realization of new contrasts (intensity). It is through the realization of patterned contrasts that “new conformal intensities of feelings” are achieved (Process and Reality, 252). It is in the aim at intensity where the depth and richness of experience is purchased. “Thus the parts contribute to the massive feeling of the whole, and the whole contributes to the intensity of feeling of the parts” (252). Each occasion of experience aims at the achievement of beauty, then, in the sense that it seeks to bring the elements within its actual world together in a way that avoids the painful clash of conflicting ends (harmony) and furthermore seeks to relate these elements together in such a way as they not only avoid the conflict of mutual inhibition, but deepen the intensity of experience felt through the introduce of new contrasts.
Maybe love can save the world.
Interestingly, these accounts of DJ culture—despite differing temporal and geographic contexts—describe DJ culture as primarily a “masculine” pursuit. These articles bear witness to profound technological and cultural change while nevertheless reminding us that some things have changed little across time, space, format and technology.
The DJ as pioneer and gatekeeper.
The DJ stands at a juncture of technology, performance and culture in the increasingly uncertain climate of the popular music industry, functioning both as pioneer of musical taste and gatekeeper of the music industry. Together with promoters, producers, video jockeys (VJs) and other professionals in dance music scenes, DJs have pushed forward music techniques and technological developments in last few decades, from mashups and remixes to digital systems for emulating vinyl performance modes...more
The DJ as guide and mood creator.
DJ -ing is not just about choosing a few tunes. It is about generating shared moods; it’s about understanding the feelings of a group of people and directing them to a better place. In the hands of a master, records become the tools for rituals of a spiritual communion that for many people are the most powerful events in their lives.
Remixing as a mark of contemporary culture.
EN: In terms of DJing rising as a valid creative activity, how do you relate to the act of remixing? Looking back at history, it appears that it is a sort of bridge to producing original content by DJs. Is this what most DJs who want to be professionals in EDM aspire to or are expected to do, in your opinion?
Mixing and remixing as a metaphor for the spiritual journey.
"In addition to music and dance, the practice of DJ mixing also has important philosophical implications for ravers, particularly as a metaphor for how to follow a spiritual path and live one’ s life in an artful and harmonious manner. Essentially, what a DJ does is to take a number of tracks, and each of which has its own distinctive feeling and structural components (i.e., rhythm, tempo, melody, harmony, timbre, instrumentation, etc.) and blend them together so that the transitions are seamless and the entire set is an integrated whole. In order to accomplish this task, a DJ must utilize the similarities between the tracks, through techniques like beat matching a key and, at the same time, must also utilize the differences between the tracks to create a sense of dynamics and forward momentum.
Remixing as a metaphysical principle,
The ultimate metaphysical principle is the advance from disjunction to conjunction, creating a novel entity other than the entities given in disjunction...The many become one and are increased by one.
Remixing as a metaphor for God (I)
The consequent nature of God is the fulfillment of his experience by his reception of the multiple freedom of actuality into the harmony of his own actualization..It is just as much a multiplicity as it is a unity...The image, and it is but an image..is that of a tender care that nothing be lost.
Remixing as a metaphor for God (II)
In Whitehead's philosophy God does not create the universe out of nothing. God creates the universe out of pre-existing materials (energies) that have existed along with God from the infinite past. Like a DJ God calls them into the creation of their own forms of order (atoms, stars, planets, people). And then, as they create themselves, God receives them into God's own life, like a DJ who feels their moods. This reception is the "consequent nature of God" mentioned above. As the events of the world and the universe are received, God provides new possibilities relative to what is happening. In the act of receiving them, God remixes them into the unity of love, and floods the remix back into the world, moment by moment, as fresh possibilities for creativity, wisdom, and compassion. This process is always occurring. In the beginning, and every moment is a beginning, there is a remixing on God's part and on the world's part.