] [Thread Prev
Re: delay tricks --> looping as a tool
>In college I took a class in West African music performance. (Taught by
>C.K. Ladzekpo at UC Berkeley) What is interesting is that he taught
>polyrhythms in a similar way, using voice and clapping. It says something
>about human nature that different cultures happened upon similar methods
>for effective teaching, doesn't it?
>In order to pass the class, one thing we had to do was clap the basic
>gonkugui (sp?) bell pattern, which is a four beat, three vs four
>polyrhythmic pattern that underlies much of the traditional music from
>Ghana. While clapping this, we had to count 2 bars each of every possible
>eighth and triplet beat division of the 4 beat bar. So: whole notes, half
>notes, half note triplets, quarter notes, triplet quarters, eighth notes,
>triplet eighths, sixteenths, and sextuplets. It took me the whole semester
>to be able to do this at all, and I still wasn't very good.
>I started that class thinking that I knew something about rhythm since I
>had been playing music for a long time. I was humbled very quickly! In a
>good way though. I learned that I knew almost nothing about rhythms, other
>than the very basic structures in western music. It pushed me, and showed
>me how important a rhythmic language is to expression in music. Gave me
>just enough tools to get started learning more.
Yes, I know how hard (seemingly simple) polyrhythms can be to internalize.
Listening to them for extended periods is a great way to do this. I think
the looping device can be a powerful tool in this area, although I haven't
spent much time using it in this way.
Often, I will get a loop going -- and leave it going for hours. I walk in
and out of the room -- forget it then notice it again. I begin to
internalize it after a while. And even though, at some point, I turn off
the power -- everything's gone -- it still stays with me, and perhaps,
affects my next loop. In this way, I feel the loppers help in the
development of my performance (and composition). I feel that my weak
points are my abilitity to sit down and compose, and lack of virtuosity in
my technique. But I do know what sounds good to me. ANd if I hear
something I like in a loop (no matter how subtle), I will learn from that.
-- This ties into what you were saying about creating good-sounding loops
accidently. I think a looper has chaos on his side -- he can turn an
accident into something wonderful -- wheras if a traditional performer were
performing his piece -- an accident would surely sound out of place!
Perhaps I am only justifying my lack of musicianship, but hey -- an artist
creates his own standards!