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Introduction to the loop groop
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My name is Pat Kirtley. I stumbled onto the Looperís Delight web site quite
by accident, while I was researching information for an article I was
writing about the history and development of echo delay devices. I guess it
was fate that I would finally land there and meet you guys. I had the
pleasure of meeting Kim F. and Ted Killian at the NAMM show a few weeks ago
and discussing electronic audio ideas over lunch.
My hat is off to Kim Flint for having the spark and vision to put up the
web page. If not for Looperís Delight, I would never have realized the
existence of this small but global community of like-minded musical
thinkers and tinkerers. In reading through the material at Looperís
Delight, I was struck with a surprising realization-- I am a looper too,
and I have been one since childhood.
So, by way of introduction, I will relate the things about myself that will
be relevant to the topics discussed here. In my current life, I am a
musician. My primary instrument is acoustic guitar. I live in Kentucky. I
am the 1995 National Fingerstyle Guitar champion, and I travel
internationally doing in-store clinics and demonstrations for Taylor
Guitars, and I do concerts. I also have a recording career, with several
albums, and I worked for 12 years as a recording studio engineer.
Currently, I am busy with touring, producing videos, and recording
projects. Occasionally I write articles for some of the guitar mags.
Throughout my life I have been fascinated by audio gizmos, gadgets, and
concepts, but I am most fascinated by music itself. None of my released
recordings feature anything like looping, but the first thing that I ever
recorded (and saved a copy of), in 1966, was a set of compositions based
on interactions with a tape delay.
My main interest in looping at the present is entirely from a creative and
philosophical (?!) viewpoint. I donít know if I am inclined at all to use
looping techniques to create "a musical product", but I might someday.
Right now itís just fun to play with, and rewards me with many useful
musical ideas. I am fascinated with the idea of recursiveness in general,
as expounded in the books by Douglas Hofstadter, including "Godel, Escher,
and Bach", which I believe should be on the reading shelf of every
(philosophical)looper. And I believe that "chaos" is the future of the
My musical heroes and influences are a varied bunch, and somewhat different
than a lot of the folks in the looper community. --Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed,
Les Paul, Doc Watson, Bach, John Cage, Harry Partch, Wendy Carlos, Jimi
Hendrix, Bernard Herrmann, Dave Brubeck, Frank Zappa, Varese, David Crosby,
Dvorak, Wes Montgomery, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Dmitri Shastokovitch,
Stravinsky, Keith Jarrett-- and others, but Iíll stop there.
Of the contemporary guitar-based jazz and experimental loop music makers, I
must confess that I have heard nothing whatsoever of their music. So I
probably represent some of the other-direction cross-pollination Kim
talked about hoping to see among the loopers. Iíve never heard any of the
music of Robert Fripp, but I have read some of his writings, and he has
some important things to say to musicians. In terms of where my musical
parameters lie, suffice to say that I find joy in a great melody, and also
I find music in noise.
My ever-changing gizmo setup includes a Godin Multiac synth-driver guitar,
Roland GR-9, Mackie mixer, Lexicon Jamman, Lexicon Vortex, Alesis and
Lexicon reverbs, computer based audio editor, various digital recorders,
REAL tape recorders, which I will never give up. I have gone through many
generations of synthesizers, starting with the Minimoog, Buchla, and Arp
2600, and now I have NONE, save for the little GR9. (Guitar strings are
ultimate tone generator!)
I look forward to submitting some articles to the looperís web site when
time permits, including a look at some pop-music based looping examples by
Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Pierre Bensusan (a monster looper), Andreas
Vollenweider, Tim Weissberg, Jon Klemmer, etc., as well as some articles
about loop devices and concepts in general.
Bye now, itís good to meet you folks, and carry on loopers!
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