If you've ever posted a video on YouTube, then Kutiman is coming for you. On Mar. 7, the Jerusalem-born DJ (whose offline name is Ophir Kutiel) launched ThruYOU, a project with a simple enough premise: to create visual symphonies using random YouTube footage of school concerts, piano lessons, weirdly intimate soliloquies and American Idol-esque performances uploaded by people across the world. In one of his creations, dubbed "This Is What It Became," the 26-year-old artist juxtaposes clips of a "Glitch Monster Love Bot," a tutorial called "How to Play Conga Drums," a dimly lit monologue for the legalization of marijuana and a demo for a toy keyboard/ tape deck that YouTuber CosmoHelectraStudio, who posted the video of the gadget, describes as "a very bad sound" and "a poor tape player."
And that's why Kutiman's viral orchestras are so fascinating. Unlike Philadelphia mash-up guru Gregg Gillis (a.k.a Girl Talk), who mixes hit pop songs and familiar classics, many of the YouTube clips selected by Kutiman, when viewed apart from one another, are ... well... bunk. Who wants to watch or, for that matter, hear a vintage fire siren wailing away on a piece of plywood? Or a Cuban percussion instrument made from a gourd. OK, that one is kinda cool, but footage of a trombone recital recorded by an unsteady, possibly intoxicated cameraman? No, thank you. In the Israeli maestro's hands, though, such raw material becomes ... well... awesome. See for yourself:
Kutiman's videos have exploded on the Web, drawing million of viewers in a matter of days, and offering amateur musicians (whose concerts are usually a party of one) some long sought-after attention. Before he came along, the Monster Love Bot had garnered a mere 4,627 hits on YouTube. Reggae artist Mighty Lion's "exclusive" a cappella clip fared even worse, attracting just 4,423 pairs of eyeballs since he uploaded it last March. But now, thanks to "This Is What It Became," the Lion and the Love Bot have been introduced to more than half a million people and counting. Viewers benefit too by getting a brief, mercifully edited glimpse into the daily lives of everyday folk around the globe. Better still, Kutiman encourages his fans to check out the credits for each of the 7 videos he's produced so far. Because, after all, "You might find yourself..."