Mark C. Newton's Remix Project

What's it about? Well:
Mark C. Newton offered a story for remixing, look here and here.

Already three remixes are up. I'm done fiddling with mine and I've sent it off. Don't know if all the samples work, but there. Hacked, shaken and stirred. Not polished to perfection, so there will be stupid typos. Always are, aren't there?

So there: find my version in pdf here. Edit: also, Mark posted it on his blog HERE.
You think it works?

So, what did I do, how did I do it?

Naturally, I read the original first. Tried to keep track of the links my mind made up as I read, jotting down a Possible Sample list.
Kipling's Jungle Book was an obvious choice. To make it easy I downloaded a .txt version from Project Gutenberg and scanned through it searching for key words. For some reason my mind also felt the Sex Pistol's No Future was a dead given. Must be Britain, class issues, stuff like that. I googled up the lyrics, because I wouldn't want quotefail while sampling, right? Then again, who knows how right those online lyrics are?
Grabbed my completely read-to-pieces Immortal Poems of the English Language from the shelf, because it's been way too long since I memorized Blake's The Tiger.

I let everything simmer for a few days, then read the original again, this time indicating what words in the original prompted for what samples. Taking note of what I wanted the flow to be, the new rhythm of the story. Checked out those cultural references that don't belong to my ready knowledge. Got some more sample ideas jotted down.

Okay, so now I have the annotated original, and a file with snippets of samples I might want to use. The samples aren't just text, but also idea samples, because writing is more than just stringing up words. For instance, upon the second read, the image of Baseema's angry father in blue shirt and hands moving about mixed in my head with the Mahakala image I saw some years back in the V&A and remember thinking "scary blue dude".

From the top, I hacked away at the original words, compressing the story into a different rhythm. Sometimes rewriting a word or two, making the text my own. Google at the ready to hunt down some idea sparks for other samples, rejecting or adding as I saw fit. Sampling the new version itself, like self-reference, which is something I just like to do when writing. There's this resonance build-up when you do that. Echoes. I like 'm.

Then the first draft was done. I didn't change much after that, just tightened up some prose in the corners, added some more (new) samples. I could probably go on, adding, revising. But I'm going to end here, and refrain from further polishing, because I've got books to read and other stories to write.

I think it works, hope it works if you're not me. Not sure whether the Kipling samples, being ye Olde English, blend in well enough. I thought about adapting them to modern English, but feared the samples might get lost that way, and that would defeat the purpose of sampling, since, well, covering Madonna and using my own version as sample in a song just isn't the same as sampling Madonna. Though, I did adapt samples to fit tense or a sentence's subject, but somehow that felt less intrusive, because that's just speeding up the sample to fit my beat. Hmmm. Who knows?

Ideas I threw in, apart from Mahakala:
  • a reference to the deer of the Three Senseless Creatures in Buddhism, representing love sickness
  • red ballerinas, yellow brick road. If something needs fixing, you need to see the wizard. Or witch, in this case. It just unrolled like that when they stepped off the bus and I could see the blind strip twisting into the suburbs. I'm not even sure if blind strips exist in London outside the city. But hey, we writers make shit up.
  • apparently there was a movie made in 1997, title of Chudail. Which I didn't see, but there. Couldn't help it.


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