Is it possible that due to the technological society in which we live, nothing is ever original? The notion that any idea or creative work we produce stems from that of another. It is an alarming thought to think that nothing is never original, but a new interpretation of something old. With the continual advancements to technology throughout our lives it has never been easier to copy and paste other peoples ideas, use other people’s work within your own, re-make and re-mix, edit, cut and paste. Although these acts are often termed as plagiarism, copyright laws are often difficult to enforce when those re-making and re-using the work of others is often everyday individuals like you and I. The original work is often credited, acknowledging the original author or creator, but this does not necessarily stop us from using their work. But is this really a bad thing? Is the art of creativity and individuality no longer existent? Or is this just another form of creative collaboration?
With much more ability to create than ever before and an array of inspiration to draw from it is no wonder that the work of others is forever being re-made, re-edited and re-mixxed. By collaborating and making use of other people’s work, often somewhat entirely new material can be produced. Within the music industry this is often a common practice. With the rise of YouTube more and more individuals are performing ‘covers’ of their favourite artists music, but it is not only everyday individuals. Artists themselves are also covering the songs of other artists. After crediting and referencing the work of someone else, is there really anything wrong with using someone else’s creation in order to enhance your own? In terms of music, covers are often beneficial not only to the fans but also to the artists. It give artists with a chance to express their music within another platform. There are many covers that I’ve listened to in the past that are often better than the original. The original version was never bad, but through the re-editing and re-mixing of another artist the song was presented and performed in a completely new way. This new interpretation of the original is often what keeps it current and relevant to fans.
Australia’s very own indie rock music band, Boy and Bear took to the folk music scene with their very own cover of “Fall at Your Feet” by rock band Crowded House. After winning Tirple J’s Unearthed competition in 2009 the band toured with Angus and Julia Stone, Hungry Kids of Hungary. Their version of “Fall at Your Feet” was then listed as number five on the Triple J Hottest 100 in 2010 as well as peaking at number 34 in the ARIA singles chart in 2011. After releasing their debut album Moonfire in August 2011, Boy and Bear won in five categories at the 2011 ARIA’s, including breakthrough artist, album of the year, best group, breakthrough artist and best alternative release album.
To think that the band gained so much success and recognition out of releasing a cover of another song. But it needs to be noted that Boy and Bear added their own personal genre to the song “Fall at Your Feet” which differentiated it from the original by Crowded House. This form of creative collaboration is essential and almost expected within our technologically savvy society. The inspiration of others work allows todays creatives to better express themselves.