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Re: Dennis Taffee and backing tracks... PERFORMANCE VALUES...

>>> "Taaffe, Denis G" <dtaaffe@indiana.edu> 03/06 9:15 AM >>>
> WELl, I agree with the codpiece and hair extensions, I'm getting my
codpiece gold plated soon. 

Ya gots ta please the audientzzz! Smoke machines sometimes help... 

> I was very opposed to using any kind of tape, samples, midi guitar
or synthetic stuff and I still wont, But, if I believe what I say,
then it doesn't matter how an artist get's it's sounds really, as long
as the end product is pleasing to the artist that creates it. 

As a recordist or composer... yes. You should absolutely get what you
need into the piece. No holds barred...

But as a performer, you have to consider the integrity of your
performance. Is it engaging? In what ways? I've been wrestling with my
reasons for needing to perform and have others see me do my thing
live... Why do it? What's different about it than a recording? Do I
want a passive or active audience? Am I background or foreground? Do I
have a message? Do I want to impress them? Do I care about them? Do I
want to show them visually how I create the music? Not tell them how I
do it? Why am I up there? To hear the applause? What!?

I'm realizing that for me to try and recreate existing pieces and
supply those elements with machines is a compromise at best... and
poorly exectuted can be very distracting and unconvincing. (to me as
well as the audience). It's often better for me to force myself to
omit the support tracks and focus on what I CAN produce live... (and
I'm guitly of relying a certain percent on less than that... it's just
an ideal I consciously strive for.)

> I watched bela fleck and they have this percussionist "future man"
playing a synthax to create the drums. Worked for me, but didn't fit
the standard drummer mold. AS far as to wether a machine taps the pads
or wether someone does like future man does it doesn't really make a
difference for me. 

I believe you're referring to his Zendrum... You still seem to be
missing the point that he's actually playing the thing. If Bela just
walked over to the Zendrum and turned it on and it played it's
thing... I believe an important element would be lost. 

> Before I used the drum machine, my loops were all perceived as
slow. Even if I was playing a very fast rythmic thing on the
guitar.with the drums the listerner perceives that speed or upbeat
thing. I do have tons of  songs without any drums but not many like
that are upbeat.

So it's a good thing that you add the rythymic element to provide
that sense of tempo. It solves a problem for you... Could you do it in
a more interactive way? A way that engages the listener and yourself?
Possibly not... and you might choose to still just turn it on and hit
the fill switch. No problem... but examine your possibilities and
further potentials. It's your own growth and relationships which will

> I don't know, it's just people told me first I couldn't go out and
play a solo electric gutiar show by myself, then I couldn't use a drum
machine, I couldn't loop, I had to use midi,I had to
have a band, I had to play this kind of style, I had to cnform to
this style of writing, had to have long hair, had to....screw all
that, I am happy with my musical progress and will continuing doing
what I 'm doing, even with drum machine. I really love it and the
sounds it creates. I value other's opinion's , but at this point I
have to do what pleases me musically and my small drum machine does it
for me . I like the way it sounds with my looping guit stuff. 

Oh yeah... I've heard a million reasons for why I CAN'T do certain
things musically and as a performer. I'm with you there... Screw that!
I'm old, bald, can be antagonistic and confrontive... I'm way past
trying to fit preconceived commercial convention...

I'm just trying to explore ways to make the live relationship
engaging for me and my listeners. I've decided that if I've chosen to
play for people, I WANT something from them... their engagement. To
get that, I realize I have to provide something for them to relate to.
I play some fairly "difficult listening" types of things and don't
compromise my musical values to get the audience attention or diffuse
the sharp edge... I'm talking about the ethics of responsibility to my
muse as well as the performance environment.