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SXSW Music 2014

The Art of the Crossfade

On a DJ mixer, the crossfader allows for seamless transition between two separate pieces of music. "The Art of the Crossfade" is a multimedia exploration of this master control for merging sound: its technical history, its role in shaping hip-hop, and its potential as a new metaphor for the "mixing" we all do in our increasingly diverse world. Combining an academic lecture with a live DJ performance, "The Art of the Crossfade" creates a unique and groundbreaking educational and entertainment experience: While USC Professor of Music & Culture Josh Kun lectures on the story and symbolism of the crossfader, award-winning DJ/Producer J.Period provides a potent musical backdrop - juggling songs, samples and scratches to illustrate the full potential of the crossfader. As technology shrinks our planet but expands our worldview, we are all exposed to a wider spectrum of influences: music styles blur, cultures intersect, ethnicities merge. In the age of the crossfade, we all live in the mix.

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  1. How can music be a model of social change?
  2. What can the DJ crossfader teach us about how to “blend” and “mix” in our lives?
  3. How can music provide bridges between, and meeting points among, different cultures?
  4. How did Hip-Hop production change contemporary aesthetics?
  5. How can the history of the DJ crossfader help us understand the challenges of the global 21st century?



Jeff Beckham, Writer, Jeff Beckham

Meta Information:

  • Tags: diversity
  • Event: Music
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Technology
  • Track 2
  • Level:
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