Why is it that cover songs are so interesting? What fascination is there for musicians to re-interprete old songs over and over again? There is no musician that develops his or her music in a vacuum, in a nonentity: on the contrary, any musician finds himself in some kind of context. Already, there exists a huge repertory of music that everybody can access. Musicians probably want to point out their roots or demonstrate respect for a special music style or a dead musician - maybe they just try to establish a connection between past and present or try to get the best and most existing out of old and new music in order to create a thrilling new version.
At the moment, the “coverbox” consists of some 500 mp3 tracks of cover songs. Cover songs are somehow adaptors between the original and the cover interpret. Lyrics, melody and mood remain transparent, however they are re-arranged in a completely new style or they appear in a completely new musical context.
The “coverbox” connects musicians that are years, kilometers or attitudes far from each other. If to “cover” is simply understood as the recycling of music, the “coverbox” draws the spectator´s attention to some of the best new versions of older songs.
Modifying and even dispossessing existing music material by making a “cover song” questions the original piece. But by making any kind of music in mp3 format availabale, filesharing applications such as Napster have changed the point of view we have towards music in general. The “coverbox” is defined by its usage of only cover songs - it could have therefore not been realised without the existence of mp3 and the means of distributing them via internet. Yet, the “coverbox” manages to draw the focus to the original works by networking the available versions all of which point to the original.
The “coverbox” is a passive jukebox as much as an interactive entertainment device. By naming a primary and a final interpreter, the box automatically searches musical connections that establish a path between these two. The connections are cover songs which can be played in their total lenght, if requested. At each new entry, the programme takes a short break to present new conjunctions after a few seconds. The “coverbox” is operated by keyboard and mouse and still has the charme of a console game that gives a face to the nonpictoral "internet" music. Thus, the chosen songs are given a new context that makes sense in addition to the simple quoting.
Idea, programming: Sebastian Gregor
Idea, music research: Tanja Jesek, Petra Schröder
Valentin Beinroth, Sylvie Hohlbaum, Katja Jesek, Tina Kohlmann, Napster, meso, Oliver Raszewski, Gregor Schubert, Tanja Schuh.
Sebastian Gregor *1976
Amongst other projects he works as freelance programmer and designer for meso Frankfurt. Studies at the “Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach“.
Tanja Jesek *1970
Studies at the “Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach”. Cooperation in several film projects and art projects.
Petra Schröder *1967
Studied at the “Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach” and lives and works as designer in Frankfurt. Since 1998 various art project and music projects.