Today's Éclat introduces a new tool in your virtual-crate-digging arsenal: Citizen DJ!
The Citizen DJ project invites the public to make music using the free-to-use audio and video collections from the Library of Congress.
Though these samples can be used to make any genre of music, The Citizen DJ project has its roots in hip hop and sampling culture. From their website:
It is also important to highlight the origins of hip hop. There’s a lot of depth to this history, but a key thing to know is that it started in the Bronx, New York during the early 70’s as a medium of protest, empowerment, and documentation by young Black and Latinx communities that were neglected politically and institutionally.
While hip hop has grown exponentially over the decades and has become a bridge between communities of all colors and backgrounds, it remains a tool for social change and amplifying voices of underserved communities of color. By making the materials and tools of Citizen DJ available for free and online, we hope to provide at least one more public resource for those who want to make music in the spirit of hip hop’s foundational values.
I believe if there was a simple way to discover and access free-to-use audio and video material for music making, a new generation of hip hop artists and producers can maximize their creativity, invent new sounds, and connect listeners to materials, cultures, and sonic history that might otherwise be hidden from public ears.
All the sounds that are available on Citizen DJ are free and available for unrestricted use for creating new music. This means whatever new music that you create, it is yours and can do whatever you like with it, including selling and making money from it!
A tiny selection of some of the thousands of sounds that can be found within the archive can be found here for download via WeTransfer.
If none of these sounds excites you, feel free to browse the archive here and pick your own sample to work with! The sounds are broken up into collections, and you can browse, download individual sounds, or download the entire collection if you want!
This week the challenge is to use at least one sound from the Citizen DJ archive, plus any other samples, synths or sounds that you like, to make a track of ± 2 minutes long.
Learn more about Citizen DJ from its creator Brian Foo here:
Here's what we made:
In the interests of the health and safety of all our producers, we are moving our meet-ups exclusively online until further notice.
The event will run like this:
18:00: Join us on a Zoom call to meet, learn about the night’s challenge, and to meet Sanni and hear about her musical journey, and the samples that she’s provided us with. (Please note this session requires prior signup at our Google Form.)
18:30 - 20:30: Making Time! Everyone has two hours to make a track of up to 2 minutes long. The Zoom call will be kept open throughout, so you can reach out for help and assistance; we’ll be using the breakout rooms feature so that we can help you with your software remotely, if you have questions.
20:30: Time to send us your track! Email your track to eclatcrewberlin [at] gmail [dot] com so that I can collect all the tracks in one place
21:00: Listening time! Everyone rejoins the Zoom call, we reconnect and chat about the samples, and listen to the things we made.
If you would like to join us in the online meetup, please email us at eclatcrewberlin [at] gmail [dot] com to receive the link to the Zoom call. If you have any trouble joining us on Zoom, please email us at the address above and we'll do our best to help you!
Check out some more tips on sampling below.