The emirate of Dubai has bought $1bn of DaimlerChrysler stock and is now the company’s third biggest shareholder.

The shares now belong to Dubai Holding, a company set up by the Dubai government in October to oversee the Gulf emirate’s economic development projects. Dubai now has around two percent of the company’s shares. Deutsche Bank owns 10.4% and the government of Kuwait owns 7.2%.

No wonder DaimlerChrysler designs mostly gas-guzzlers, eh? Makes me wonder what percentage of all the large car companies is owned by Arabic Oil nations?

Will Ackerman

In recording Returning my primary objective was to be sure that every note I played would have a real emotional connection to it. If I played well, but failed to find the emotion I would scrap it. The songs proved to be surprising to me.

I just read Jamie Bonk’s December interview with Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill records. It is a great interview and makes me wonder whether it was actually easier for Will to be that open (click on the title of the post and read more!) using email as the medium? Jamie Bonk does good interviews.

Tangent: around 1987 or ’88 I made a cassette tape of my music and sent it to Alex DeGrassi. He was kind enough to to send me a letter, basically stating that I needed to become more original. A year or two later I recorded another cassette that contained Heart Still/Beating, Barcelona Nights and Waiting 4 Stars to Fall and led to Frank Howell asking me to do the album Marita: Shadows and Storms, which became NF. To me the seeds of NF where right there in that cassette I sent to Alex DeGrassi…

In case you are wondering why DeGrassi? I remember hearing an album of his at a friend’s house. I liked it, but I still don’t own any of his recordings. Strange, isn’t it?

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Leonard Cohen speaks

As you get older, the braincells associated with anxiety die.

Well, there is always that to look forward to. Beautiful interviews with Cohen.
Thanks Yumiko

Fashion Sampling

On January 29, 2005, the Norman Lear Center will hold a landmark event on fashion and the ownership of creativity. Ready to Share will explore the fashion industry’s enthusiastic embrace of sampling, appropriation and borrowed inspiration, core components of every creative process. Presented by the Lear Center’s Creativity, Commerce & Culture project, and sponsored by The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/FIDM, this groundbreaking conference will feature scholarly debate, fashion shows, multimedia presentations, the clash of perspectives and the cross-fertilization of ideas.
(Via BoingBoing.)

I think there might be a qualitative difference between digital music sampling and sampling as it pertains to Fashion and Fine Art. We are talking about two kinds of sampling here that are very different in character. One is hearing a cool musical phrase and learning to play it on your instrument. The other is to simply record or sample that phrase and use it.

When you talk about sampling in fashion you always talk about the former, i.e. seeing something and finding a way to re-create that look. In other words, Tom Ford does not go out, buy an Armani jacket and stitch a Gucci label on it – but he might see that Armani jacket and love the fabric and the cut of the pocket and re-create that. That kind of sampling has existed in music and art for thousands of years. It is how popular music spreads.

I think to compare the two kinds of sampling is like comparing apples and oranges – it does not work. To learn to re-play an inspiring phrase on ones instrument is mountains away from simply hitting record on your sampler – and as usual BoingBoing does not seem to see that.

However, I do think people need to discuss different types of record-sampling. In the Fine Arts, if you take somebody’s image and cut it apart and make a new collage containing elements of that image, it is considered a new copyrightable work. Similarly there has to be a difference between record-sampling a sound and record-sampling a whole phrase. The rule of thumb used to be that up to four seconds was OK, but a court ruled last year that any length of record-sampling was infringing on copyright, which I find ludicrous.

Personally I would advocate legalizing a certain sample length, measured either in time (4-6 seconds?), in note value (equivalent of two whole notes?) or beats (quarter bar?). While the first measurement is absolute, the other two would relate to the music and tempo.