The Art of the Crossfade
On a DJ mixer, the crossfader allows for seamless transition between two separate pieces of music. Explore this master control for merging sound: its technical history, its role in shaping hip-hop, and its potential as a new metaphor for the "mixing" we all do in our increasingly diverse world. Combining an academic lecture with a live DJ performance, this session considers how, in the age of the crossfade, we all live in the mix.
Josh Kun is a professor in the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism where he also directs The Popular Music Project of The Norman Lear Center. He is the author or editor of several books, including 2005's Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America (winner of a 2006 American Book Award) and 2013's Songs in the Key of Los Angeles, a multi-platform collaboration with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and other national and international publications. As a curator, his music installations and exhibitions have appeared in venues such as The Grammy Museum, The Santa Monica Museum of Art, The Autry National Center, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the Museum of Latin American Art.
Hailed as a “music guru” by Rolling Stone and cited among the “world’s Top DJ’s” by The New York Times, J.PERIOD’s vast musical repertoire bridges cultures, generations and styles with innovative blends and seamless transitions. As Music Supervisor for the Brooklyn Nets’ inaugural season at Barclays Center, J.PERIOD’s signature sound has become the defining soundtrack for the franchise, and set a new standard for the role of music in the NBA arena. A 10-year veteran in moving large crowds, J.PERIOD has served as official Tour DJ for artists including Lauryn Hill, Q-Tip, The Roots, and international icon K’NAAN, performing at venues from NYC’s Central Park Summerstage to Johannesburg’s Coca-Cola Dome. His production resume boasts collaborations with Grammy-winners Kanye West, Common, John Legend, and Mary J. Blige, and his “audio- documentary” mixtape series has prompted Questlove to call him “the most creative mixtape producer of all-time.”