Sven Libaek and “Misty Canyon”
This chapter develops the notion of distributed personhood using Sven Libaek’s “Misty Canyon” as an example. I demonstrate how a sound accumulates multiple biographies and forges associations with a network of human agents. In this particular example, it is possible to recognise how the strength of the connection to its original creator maintains an acknowledgement of Libaek through the various guises it assumes throughout its life—whether these are its use as a sample, its selection on a beat compilation, or as a reissue. This strength of connection plays out in questions surrounding ownership.
The chapter also develops the concept of distributed personhood and the multibiographical sound object as outlined in the previous chapter. The emergence of a musical cyborg—part object and part human—begins to take form. This human/nonhuman/subject/object binary represents a challenge to the restricted version of personhood provided by the possessive individual, on which copyright law is based, and further destabilises this foundational construct through demonstrating the tension that is present between them.
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