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Remixing YouTube, One Video At A Time

The latest viral video doesn't just come from YouTube — it's a remix of it. Amateur musicians with video cameras and homemade gadgets are all the playthings of an Israel-based musician and producer named Kutiman, who blends their sounds and images into unique songs. To date, his videos have accumulated more than 3 million views and climbing.

In an interview with Melissa Block, Kutiman says he was searching for guitar licks on YouTube when he came across a drummer explaining a funky groove. It inspired a slew of mash-ups.

"It was so funky with him just playing and talking," Kutiman says. "I said, 'All it's missing is music.' "

While it's easy to find someone playing a trumpet or a piano on YouTube, it's hard not to wonder how Kutiman finds something like the mechanical monster that pervades "This Is What It Became." The answer is simple enough: the perpetual time-waster called "Related Videos." Kutiman says a search for a toy piano yields a right-column worth of odd electric toys and instruments, all ripe for combination.

The whole process took Kutiman about two months — "with no food and no sunlight," he says. Given that he's a musician and a producer himself, one might think that Kutiman would get bored working with such mundane subject material.

"Actually, the other way around," Kutiman says. "After I finished this project, I found it really boring to play something myself — to compose a song or play guitar or play bass, it really looked boring to me. It has no video in it, it has no person in it, and it has no other life in it. It was fascinating to work on it. It was the most incredible project I've worked on."

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