Samples and Serendipity

The moment preceding the moment when things come together is my favourite moment. It’s when you know things will fall into place and you watch in anticipation as it does.

I love that musicians sample music. There is something to be said about the argument that sampling implies lack of creativity. This could be true and often is, when the producer samples a track because they really couldn’t care to come up with an original. And oftentimes this lack of motivation is evident, although it does get passed off as art on occasion.

But what if samples are used to evoke nostalgia? A way to fuse an older memory into a  new one, make a moment out of a moment passed?

I love samples when it works in this manner. It also primes me to appreciate creativity in the manner that the sample is used.

Given this background, things worked like a dream the other day. I chanced upon a sample without intending to. Serendipity. I had listened to the song 2wicky by Hooverphonic in their live orchestra version a year ago. Boredom directed me to find the original. I played it and was transfixed at the intro. It was a guitar riff that I’d been hunting for, for a long time. I’d heard it on 6 Inch by Beyonce.

The guitar riff is the sort that plays in the background as you walk through the rain in slow motion, haven beaten your opponent and won The Game.

I thought Beyonce sampled it from 2Wicky. Which was fantastic because I love both those songs. I googled 2wicky to confirm this, only to find out that 2wicky sampled it from Isaac Hayes 1969 hit Walk On By. I heard it and it was awesome. But the story didn’t end there. This version was apparently a rerecording of the original by Dionne Warwick. And when I listened to that, I felt like I’d heard it before, in passing. Like it had played at a coffee shop, softly in the background. I still cannot remember where I heard it, but it’s unmistakable. I’ve listened to it before and enjoyed it, without paying too much attention. And now, it’s come back to me.

“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”

Luna Lovegood


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