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Online, It's a Cyborg Woodstock

Like the title, the choice of video game sounds conjures the internal world of the computer, a tiny concert down among the microcircuits. At the same time, toying with such kitschy, cartoonish sounds emphasizes the way technology can trivialize just about anything. The cheap game pads -- a junk technology -- underscore that notion.

"They break all the time, so they have this association" with things disposable, he said.

These temporary elements play into Ostertag's tendency toward improvisation. Like good jazz, in performance, "w00t" is never the same twice.

Here's another clip:

(If the sound player doesn't appear below, go to this SoundCloud page to listen.)

Free Music

Ostertag, who has been recording and performing experimental music since the 1970s, has written about the dangers of business interests using technology to control and limit access to culture, notably in his essay, "The Professional Suicide of a Recording Musician," available on his Web site. But the reasons for making his music available for free are rooted in practical considerations.

"People should listen to it," he said. "I'm not opposed to musicians making money, believe me...[But] I think the normal person would be shocked to find out how big you have to be to make money from selling music."

With traditional labels, smaller recording projects often wind up "undercapitalized and undermanaged," he said. Artists can lose the right to release their own work. Music that's precious to a small following can be completely silenced in the tangled maze of business interests.

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