Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Sensation Pays Tribute to Himself, and YouTube, With a “YouTube Orchestra”

Gotye is an Australian musician whose music was very hard to find outside of Australia until last year. Now, thanks in large part to YouTube, it is nearly impossible not to hear him.

His video for “Somebody That I Used to Know” has been played an astonishing (but not a record) 299 million times on Google’s video site. And like everything popular on YouTube, the video and song have spawned a whole series of imitators, tributes and “responses.” This cover, for instance, has racked up 132 million views in 2012.

So here’s a perfect way for Gotye to acknowledge the site, and its users, who made him a phenomenon. It’s a video made up of other people’s versions of his video. A “YouTube Orchestra,” in his words.

If this looks familiar, there’s a good reason: Three years ago, Kutiman, another one-named musician, used the same technique to great effect.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik