This project's funding goal was not reached on October 9, 2012.
This project's funding goal was not reached on October 9, 2012.
I am Hatim Belyamani, aka officerfishdumplings (officerfishdumplings.com)
In late July 2012, I partnered with documentary producer and media lawyer Jordan Fletcher, who will join me in Morocco in late September 2012 to begin working on the storytelling component to the project.
I'm setting out to offer an alternate path for remix culture, with the following primary goals:
My 3 big passions have long been: music, photography, and cultural exchange (in the service of bringing the world closer). remix ←→ culture evolved out of my desire to bring all 3 passions together in a meaningful way.
Like so many other electronic musicians, I've embraced the remix culture that’s exploded over the past several years. It’s amazing how easy it’s become to sample anything from anywhere around the world. And I've had a lot of fun doing just that with many of my remixes. But I've also recently discovered a whole new level of satisfaction when remixing music made by people with whom I've crossed paths in a deeper way than by simply (and anonymously) clicking a button to download their music.
This has led me down a journey I invite you to join me on, where we set out to offer an alternate path for remix culture, one that resonates more with the spirit of our times: we wanna know more about where our food comes from, where our clothes are made, whether the producers of the items we consume are paid a fair wage. Similarly, with remix ←→ culture, I’d like to bridge the gap between remix music that we produce or consume and the people behind the original sounds that made the remix music possible. I see here an opportunity to create an experience that is at once musical, multi-sensory, fun, easy-to-use, educational, and accessible to a large number of users and producers worldwide. And through this unique experience, there's an opportunity to appeal to both children and adults, musicians and non-musicians alike, in a way that not only provides a new funding mechanism for musicians around the world, but also increases curiosity in the world about cultures both foreign and familiar.
A few months ago, I left my job at Apple and embarked on my first field recording trips in remote parts of Morocco. I had limited recording gear, and very little clue as to how any of this adventure would turn out. But I ended up meeting some incredible musicians whom I recorded, photographed, and videotaped in as varied locations as:
Take Brahim Fadel:
He’s lived his entire life in the small town of Khenifra, where, despite his most modest means, he and his wife raised a family of 3 children and are still struggling to put all of them through school. But within a couple hours of meeting him, he insisted I join him in his own home for lunch. He also has an incredibly beautiful voice, knows his way around the lotar and kamanja, and a passion for sharing his knowledge of his culture and musical traditions.
My first priority was to ensure the musicians I worked with were happy with the outcome of our encounter. That meant mixing and producing CD-quality versions of their songs and providing them with CD copies. Here's a taste, featuring Brahim on lead vocals and lotar:
Even though they didn’t ask for any compensation, I thanked them for their time and talent with a cash-in-a-small-envelope symbolic gesture. But I wasn’t satisfied with that approach and I knew it wasn’t sustainable for me in the long-run. This was just the beginning my quest for a new revenue model.
When I returned to SF, I created the first work entirely derived from the audio-visual materials I had captured in Morocco. Here's a 5-minute video of me demo'ing this installation:
My installation was premiered at the Priceless arts festival in California this summer, and was a hit with festival passers-by throughout all 3 days. If you wanna see the range of musical fun one can have with this installation, check out this video:
But, this was just a first step towards realizing the vision I outlined for
remix ←→ culture. Yes it does:
But it doesn’t offer access to
And most importantly, this experience is only possible if you come to me, or I bring these devices to you.
So now, with your help, I want to take remix ←→ culture to the next level and beyond.
This is my vision for remix ←→ culture. And even though it all started with Moroccan music, it's a vision I'd like to extend to other corners of this world. Morocco just happens to be the starting point because of the deep ties I have to the country and its music. The goal for the remix ←→ culture iPad app when it becomes available, is it would provide a new framework, which not only I can use when making new field recording trips to Morocco and other countries, but also anyone who has (remix ←→ culture)-friendly content would be able to use. Imagine someone is already recording, photographing, and interviewing musicians in, say Brazil. Once the remix ←→ culture iPad app is available, they would be able to package all their content in a specified format and, therefore deliver the remix ←→ culture experience for their recorded music to users worldwide, and divert funds back to their Brazilian source musicians.
On Sept 20, we’re setting out again to remote parts of Morocco to reconnect with some of the musicians from the previous trip, as well as meet new musicians, record their music, and begin to collect translations of their lyrics, their stories, and the stories behind the music. This will allow us to collect enough high-quality content to use as a prototype when we develop the remix ←→ culture iPad app.
But we need your help.
We’ve already sunk considerable costs to upgrade our equipment so that we can collect high-fidelity recordings even in challenging locations. There’s also travel to cover, and, ultimately, developing the iPad software that could offer the possibility of a new funding mechanism for talented musicians around the world.
If we meet our fundraising goal, that will cover roughly half of the costs for this new gear, trip, and musician fees.
If we're able to raise more than that, the money will go to sunk costs and funding for the iPad app. If we fall short this time, we'll launch another kickstarter campaign when we're further into the iPad phase. Because we’re committed to making this project a reality.
Recording gear upgrades (Total = $12,809.49)
(Previously owned gear includes Sennheiser e914 mic, another Neumann KM184 mic, Shure SM58, Nikon D7000 camera with SB-600 external flash, an assortment of high-quality lenses, camera tripods, filters, and MacBook Pro with external backup hard drive.)
Musician fees (estimated $400)
Travel costs (estimated total of $3200)
Kickstarter Rewards Fulfillment (depends on # of backers)
iPad app development (under investigation)
In addition to the personal history and ties ofd has with the country, Morocco's convenient geographical location has put it at the crossroads of many civilizations and trade routes throughout human history. As a result, the diversity of Moroccan musical traditions is mind-blowing – there’s stuff that is reminiscent of music from places as disparate as West Africa, Ukraine, China, Syria, Brazil, Mali, and Ireland. But, at the same time, Moroccan musical traditions have held on to a rhythmic sensibility that remains quite unique in many respects.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (21 days)