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Re: Looping/music/audience/commerce

>For every musician who wants to
>carry around a ton of gear and make strange, beautiful and probably
>unusual music . . . there are probably twenty guys who are the "plug and
>play, effects are bullshit" kind of  guitar player (or insert
>instrument "X") who think that what we do is CRAP.

But do we really _need_ a ton of gear, or is this just kind of a techno
security blanket?  Seems to me, all that's really _needed_ to loop
sucessfully is a couple of pieces of gear, at least in my world.  Much of
looped music IS crap, as is much of music in general.  I've long been
considered an "out" player, however I feel that one MUST take into acount
the musicality and purpose behind everything we do on stage or in the
studio.  People's tastes will vary, but at no time should we use a piece of
technology simply because it exists.  (ANY technology:  eg. If a Piano is
going to muddy up the texture in an undesirable or unmusical way, WHY USE

>[By the way another
>thing about guitar players being the nexus of this stuff, we bass
>players-and drummers?-are practically taught that effects and anything
>but the sacrosanct "GROOVE" are verboten.]

Don't mean to let my jazz roots show too much, but have you ever heard of
Gerry Hemmingway or Jaco?  Both these guys have _LOOPED_ and I've never
heard anything that these guys have done that hasn't grooved _HARD_.

>How many people worldwide (1 million? 2? out of
>billions?) are into non-mainstream/non-commercial music? Do you see
>David Torn or Bill Frisell (who are both doing pretty damn well compared
to most of us-how many people doing day jobs or people doing music that
qualifies as a "day job" on this list?) playing large venues?  Nope, most
>people listen to music as wallpaper to get through their work day, hits
>radio, smooth jazz, the quiet storm, etc.

Can't argue here.  Personally, I love the small venues and being able to do
what I do without corporate types breathing down my neck to play a certain
way. (Lived that, and, well, no thank you.)  To me, musical wallpaper
sucks, but we are entertainers.  We can sit here and verbally masturbate
about how we are creating high art and all that all day long, but if
there's not at least one person sitting in the audience tonight, I'm not
performing, I'm practicing.  I'm happy playing to that one person if
they're really into it, and if I can pay my bills, and have a dental plan,
then my "day job" has served it's purpose.

It comes down to this, we ought not to worry that Frisell will never pack
Madison Square Garden, that David Torn will never sell out the Hollywood
Bowl, etc.  To me, by and large, the "hit makers" of music are in this for
a much different reason than your average looper, and most people on this
list have as much in common with the superstars of pop as we do with a
trial lawyer.  (My appologies to any looping lawyers out there.)

>Anybody out there play at a party with a DJ also being used recently?
>People want to hear records that they already know.

Yes, they do, so I say, "Don't do it man!"  Most people naturally seek out
their comfort zone.  When people are in hit listening zone, there's no
reaching them, unless the new tune sounds enough like what came before so
as not to upset musical wallpaper.  (I hate it when I put on a disk for a
student and the immediatly want me to go to the one track that they already

>I guess that what I'm saying is that the "how to get to people" question
>is not going to be easily answered being, as I see it, a societal
>awareness issue. WE ARE ANOMALIES. Most people don't want to know
>anything other than what they know, they're pretty much happy with what
>they have . . .  and if they aren't,  they search something else
>out-they're already looking and may have found the EDP, insane music,
>etc.  How do we nurture these people? I think by creating "hubs" of
>activity (see below).

Yes, yes, and YES!  (Preach brother)

>In terms of live music, people expect to like what they go out to hear.

In my experience, given the right circumstance people can tollerate a lot
more live than they can on record. (Took a girlfriend once to a percussion
ensemble concert that featured Ives, Reich, etc, and she really enjoyed it,
though she hated it on disk)  I think this has something to do with the
total sensory involvment thing.  This IS how we get people to turn on:  Get
'em to come out to gigs ("free gigs?" you say.  Build an audience)

Agree with your analysis of gear too.  Do you sell one looper, one E-bow,
or do you sell half a million Les Pauls and Marshall stacks?  If I had a
store, I'd be dressed in pink spandex with frizzy hair down to my waist if
it helped me sell to all the cones out there.

 Go to
>gigs, tell friends/aquaintances about other people's gigs as well as
>your own. In short, creat a "scene" (a hub if you will)

Seems to have worked for our friend John Zorn and the downtown/Knitting
Factory scene musicians.  What?  Zorn owns two lables now and is commited
to getting the unusual noticed.  No, no Zorn record will ever go gold or
make the charts, but the "small" audience is pretty large and is global.
What's more, this audience is commited to supporting creative music and is
passing this love on to another generation.

>Support Creative Music where you can.


Doug Tapia
General Manager, MTP

UNC Music Tech Press
University of Northern Colorado
Fraiser 108
Greeley, CO 80639

Voice: 970-351-2614
Fax: 970-351-2444
Email: mtp@unoco.edu