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RE: delay -> looper || player -> loopist -> musician

Now there's a great big can o' worms... I guess it all depends on what you
mean by "our music", at what stage in the process you're talking about. The
logical conclusion of your question would be that we have no need of new
instruments, new technology or even new tunes because "our music" already
exists as a static entity in a finished, perfect form. I know that's taking
it a lot further than the point you were making, but it's the view at one
end of that spectrum. On the other hand, looking at "our music" as an
evolving, living thing, unfolding over millenia, defining and clarifying
our cultural identity, it becomes more apparent that the state-of-the-art
has always influenced the results. When a bunch of cavemen were banging on
logs and one of them stretched a piece of hide over the hollow end of one
one, the direction of music changed as a result of this new technology.

If you think of "our music" as the potential existing in a composer's head
rather than an established repertoire of musical pieces and techniques it's
easier to incorporate the concept of shifting a musical approach to
accomodate technology. As an example, think of someone who plays a
monophonic instrument, maybe a flautist. If this person wants to perform a
polyphonic piece in real time that used to mean writing out the parts and
hiring additional players (no, I'm not heading for the "technology causes
unemployment" thread; I'm talking about the creative process...). But
looping technology has made it possible for that flautist to build and
layer parts in real time and to create a performance that would not have be
possible without the technology. However, the approach is not identical
with the way he or she may have written the parts out the old way, so we
can see how the technology IS shaping the music.

I know what you're saying, Javier, and I completely agree that there are
many dangers and potential compromises associated with relying too heavily
on the new tools. (I'm thinking of those EH "space drums" again and
imagining how horrible it would be if they'd been embraced more
ubiquitously; 9 out of 10 songs on the radio going booo-booo-BOOOOO!) But
as long as it's used creatively, there's no reason why technology can't
peacefully co-exist with traditional technique, shaping the music of
tomorrow symbiotically. We're not talking about pressing "auto-play"
(although some of the generative software like Koan might be grist for
another discussion), but it's important to remember that any tool that
allows a musician to realize the music that exists in his or her
imagination IS valid, even if it means we need to re-evaluate our
definitions of musicianship. We still need to know how to play and write,
and we still need to practice and refine our skills, but there's so much
more possibility with an open mind to new approaches, and this is how "our
music" evolves.


At 12:41 AM 11/24/99 -0800, Javier Miranda wrote:
>I think this is where the dangers begin.  Weren't all the toys meant to
>"enhance" our music, not the other way around?

>  | In a message dated 11/23/99 2:41:54 PM Mid-Atlantic Standard Time,
>  | hartne.t@apple.com writes:
>  |
>  | << but you may have to shift your musical approach to accommodate
>  |  the technology. >>
>  |
>  | and therein lies a lot of fun.........but then
>  | again.........:)...........michael
>  |
>  |