DJ Biff Jorgensen, SPS

Here’s a sample of what you get if you ask me to DJ:

Lusine, Ask You
Laurie Anderson (featuring Lou Reed), In Our Sleep
Vampire Weekend, Oxford Comma
Duran Duran, Big Bang Generation
Salif Keita, Africa
Prince, 3121
Jolin, 说爱你
Vanessa Paradis, Divine Idylle
Johnny Cash, Daddy Sang Bass
Carl Stone, Flint’s
DJ [Yamatsuka] Eye, Moth
Pierre Henry/Fatboy Slim, Psyche Rock
Wayne Horvitz & Pigpen, ‘Cause I’m in Love Yeah
Serge Gainsbourg, Love on the Beat
Big Audio Dynamite, Rush
Ben Houge, Jessica’s Scissors
Aphex Twin, 4
Christian Marclay, Frederic Chopin
Karlheinz Stockhausen, “Struktur XV” from Kontakte
Jay Chou, 牛仔很忙

I made my unwitting DJ debut at the launch party for the Mommy Foundation at CANART last Friday. I was originally asked to just do my thing, so I was planning to play the same type of ambient stuff I played at 2 Kolegas and D-22 in Beijing last month, basically presenting some of my real time ambient sound installation pieces as performances. But I increasingly got the sense that more danceable party fare was what was desired (especially after I heard the Antidote folks had already turned them down), so I ended up just playing a bunch of my favorite MP3’s. I actually prepared way more than what’s in this list, but didn’t have time to get to a lot of it; in particular, there should have been more Chinese rock. Also some Curtis Roads. And Christophe. And Naked City. Wait, I want to do it over!

I think I’m going to write a Max patch to help with transitions and stuff in the future, though that means I’ll have to rerip a bunch of music as MP3’s instead of WMA’s. Anyway, let me know if you want me to spin at your bat mitzvah or whatever; I’m officially on the market!

I did take advantage of the fact that a bunch of guys pretty much cleared the room by playing about 10 levels of Rock Band halfway through the evening to test the waters with some of my installation pieces, and actually, for a mellower, end-of-party scenario, Radiospace in particular focus grouped pretty well in a gallery environment, especially when I let folks tune to their own radio broadcasts.

And let me share a related observation (not necessarily leveled at this particular event). It seems a lot of arts folks, when planning art parties, after carefully coordinating all of the other details of the event to deliver a certain aesthetic experience, will nonetheless go for the knee-jerk, “Ooh, and we need a DJ!” solution when it comes to planning their party’s sonic environment. I encourage everyone to be equally vigilant when selecting a sound of their arts events, and to seek out music and performers who are aesthetically matched with the rest of the experience. There’s such a tremendous range of possibilities for party music other than the electronic dance music default, and art folks in particular should be sensitive to this fact. It always strikes me as odd when people who delve deep into visual aesthetics and issues and movements don’t exhibit the same curiosity and rigor towards sound.

Consult your qualified music consultant today!

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