Love in the Time of Connectivity is a collage. In fact, even the title is a collage: I took the title of Gabriel García Márquez’s novel, Love in the Time of Cholera, and combined it with a reference to the culture of Internet file sharing. I have been interested in collage and the reappropriation of material for some time, because as the saying goes, good artists borrow but great artists steal. Collage is the most honest way to honour that principle, and I spent most of 2008 working in this direction.
Collage, as well as related ideas such as sampling, remix, and mash-up, are among the few unifying forces driving artistic change today. Through video sites like YouTube and audio sites like ccMixter, these ideas have been responsible for renewing amateur art on a mass scale, for challenging the standards of creativity, for expanding musical taste, and even for influencing legal precedent.
For the first time in history, we are drowning in art. There is too much music of the highest artistic quality for anyone to ever hope to experience. So how can artists contribute to culture in a situation like this? I think collage is an important part of the answer, and the proof is in the attitudes of those who grew up with the Internet. For many of them, art is not something simply to be experienced, it is a resource to be adapted, changed, built upon, and shared.
While composing Love in the Time of Connectivity, I gave myself some restrictions in order to inspire creativity. For example, I decided to try to present all quotations in as recognizable a form as possible. I did not allow myself to transpose fragments from their original tonalities, and I did not allow myself to compose my own new material to bridge together the quotations—every note is borrowed. I also made tempo an integral part of the musical development, and I tried to make grammatical sense of all the text fragments I combined. Finally, every quote relates to the others in some way, either in terms of theme, title, text, artist, or (obviously) musical sounds.