Saturday, January 7, 2012

What Have You Sampled Lately?

This week I learned that Everclear (the high-octane pure grain alcohol) makes a dandy glass shower door cleaner. If you had seen my scummy shower doors, you'd know why I decided to sample that idea from the guy who keeps my 14-year-old car getting 35 mpg.

Sampling is one of my favorite things. Here's a quick sample of freeform looping I made for the student who came yesterday for a private studio class. We spent the day working on a solid foundation of looping technique. By the end of the day, she could see the underlying structure in this sample. There were wheels turning in her head when she left about ways to incorporate looping in her handmade felt. But what really made me smile was her statement that first, she had a lot more sampling she wanted to do.

Sometimes we go looking for inspiration. Sometimes it just comes up in casual conversation, like using spirits to clean glass. But inspiration without action is like a balloon that quietly deflates after a week or so. Sampling is a good way to find out if an idea will fly. Even if it won't fly, letting the air out of a balloon all at once so it makes a rude sound and dive bombs everything in the room is more fun than watching it slowly deflate.

So what have you sampled lately? What are you hoping to sample soon?

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