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Gold Panda: Breaking Down Found Sound

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Gold Panda: Breaking Down Found Sound

Music Articles

Gold Panda: Breaking Down Found Sound

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, host:

To music now, and British musician Derwin Panda. He never learned to play an instrument, but at 15 Panda began making music with an Atari computer, a sampler and his dads old records. More than a decade later, he released a critically-acclaimed debut album called "Lucky Shiner," and hes just finished touring the U.S.

He sat down with NPR's Jess Gitner to discuss the anatomy of a song.

(Soundbite of song, "You")

Mr. DERWIN PANDA (Electronic musician): My name is Derwin; I make music as Gold Panda. This song is called "You."

(Soundbite of song, "You")

Mr. PANDA: It sounds like in the tracks the vocals are saying you and me, but actually they're not. Its just the way the sound has been processed and put back together.

(Soundbite of song, "You")

Mr. PANDA: I like to start with a blank page and try and find every sound myself.

(Soundbite of song, "You")

Mr. PANDA: I had this old Indian record and it had a nice vocal with a lot of space and I was just recording the record that I sampled at different speeds on the record player. So I guess if I pitch it down...

(Soundbite of song, "You" lower pitch)

Mr. PANDA: See, if we pitch that back up.

(Soundbite of song, "You" higher pitch)

Mr. PANDA: You find the part that you like and then you just work around it. Its quite quick from there. You can always find the next layer to go on top.

(Soundbite of drum machine)

Mr. PANDA: Drums where - I just - I was kind of doing something with the Dictaphone and trying the beat-box, not that I can, but yeah, and then I made a kick and a snare out of it.

(Soundbite of sample of kick and snare drums)

(Soundbite of sampled fireworks)

Mr. PANDA: Oh, there's fireworks. This Japanese record is recording - a field recording of a festival in Japan and then it sounds like they're drums, the way I've chopped them up there in the arrangement.

(Soundbite of song, "You" with drums added)

Mr. PANDA: I wouldnt call myself a DJ because I'm not a disc jockey, so I dont play other people's music and I dont play CDs at, like, weddings or bar mitzvahs. I make electronic music at home then I go around and play it to people, live, or as loud as it can be.

(Soundbite of song, "You")

KELLY: That's British musician, Gold Panda, and his song "You."

(Soundbite of song, "You")

MONTAGNE: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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