YouTube is filled with music. There are instructional videos, performance videos, and people simply practicing or showing off in front of their cameras. Find a piece you like and, from the comfort of your own home, you can play with them in a virtual jam session. Ophir Kutiel, an Israeli musician, was doing exactly this one day, playing his guitar alongside a drum video. Maybe it was this one.
And he had a revelation: couldn’t he could find another YouTube video of a guitarist to play with the drummer? He could mix and match a virtual band that never existed. From this insight, he built an entire album of music videos hacked together from dozens of pre-existing videos.
He released it earlier this year under his professional name, Kutiman, and it became a viral internet sensation. It’s really great. If you haven’t seen it already, please please watch it here: THRU YOU | Kutiman mixes YouTube. “The Mother of All Funk Chords” is the mother of all mashups. Kutiman is a virtuoso metamusician, and his instrument is the YouTuba.
Ramsey theory is a mathematical theory built around the idea that complete disorder is impossible. Order is inevitable. Chaos can’t stop itself from knitting a lovely sweater every now and again. Luckless cacophony can only push so far up the curve of diminishing returns. YouTube may look like a bottomless sack of horseshit, but there’s a symphony in there and Kutiman knows how to fish it out.
And so may we all. I find Ramsey theory profoundly comforting. When it seems like everything is going to hell, look around for the magic sparks.