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Re: Looper Moving!



Yo Kevin,

> After being on this list now for around 8 months I have to say Iím quite 
>jealous of you California  > Loopers.

> Having LoopStock and all I just canít resist anymore I feel compelled to 
>move closer to the action.

Well, let me give you my own perspective on the "action," so to speak,
from my vantage point in Los Angeles:

Loopstock had an amazing sense of community, and it was pretty
remarkable to see how many different loop-based artists are located
reasonably close to the central Californian coast.  But, although you
could say there's a "scene" here, it's one of an extremely fragmentary
nature.  

What I mean by that is that I see people like Rick Walker, Hans
Lindauer, Kim Flint, Max Valentino, or Richard Zvonar once every few
months (if even that), and that's on account of going well out of my way
to do so.  It's a great pleasure to be able to interact with these and
other Californian loopers, but it's not easy logistically or financially.

Closer to home, Los Angeles is infamous for being fragmentary and
disconnected, so it's no surprise that cultivating a sense of looping
community here has been difficult.  Occasionally Rick Walker will ask me
about the LA Looping Scene, and I have to reply that there IS no LA
Looping Scene, at least as far as I'm aware.  

The last two solo looping gigs I played drew one and zero people,
respectively.  That's not a complaint; I'd like to see LA list members
that do play out, like Stig and Andrew Pask, more often than I do (I've
never seen Andrew, as a matter of fact, though I'd very much like to),
but seeing a gig "here in town" can frequently mean battling freeway
traffic for a half hour of more.  So I understand that schedules don't
often work out for people.  But this sort of thing does tend to cast a
sobering light on the notion of "looping scenes" and their impact on
one's day-to-day existence.

I'm not qualified to speak authoritatively about the Bay Area scene from
an insider's point of view.  I do know that Rick Walker has been endless
in his enthusiasm and drive to cultivate a sense of looping awareness
and community, and he deserves an immense amount of credit for helping
to solidify a notion of a California looping "scene" of any sort.  

Hans Lindauer has also done incredible work, and has been utterly
selfless in spending time and energy trying to facilitate things for us
on the West Coast.  Max Valentino and I did some shows together in San
Luis Obispo at the end of March, and Hans was unbelievably together and
supportive on all fronts.

But frankly, gigs aren't THAT frequent.  If you check the list archive
for gig announcements in the last year of two, I think you'll find that
there just aren't that many performances happening in California.  And
if they ARE happening, people aren't publicizing them very much, which
gets back to the issue of how fragmentary the "scene" here actually is. 
It's not like the New York bebop scene in the 1940's, or the CBGB's punk
scene in the '70s, or the British IDM scene in the '90s.  

I'm not exaggerating when I say that you could probably fly out to every
major (and even many of the non-major) California loop gig that's been
held in the last year and be about as plugged into "the scene" as if you
were living here full time.  And you'd probably also be in better shape 
financially.

This doesn't mean that there isn't a very cool and tangible sense of
being involved in something here in California.  It doesn't mean that I
don't very much appreciate being within reasonable geographic distance
of all the wonderfull people I've mentioned (and many I haven't, like
Sean Echevarria, Cliff Novey, Gary Lehman, Jon Wagner, Bill Walker, Tom
Heasley, Mark Sottillaro, and the folks I'm sure I'll remember just as
soon as I send this email off... apologies to you deserving folks I'm
forgetting right this second).

What it DOES mean is that, in my opinion, the scene here is very 
fragmentary,
sporadic in its convergence, and only just starting to emerge as
something with tangible structure and order to it, thanks to the
efforts of a few people who have been working away at it for years.  

In other words, if you move out to California for the "looping scene," I
think you're going to spend a hell of a lot of time waiting around for a
handful of gigs to happen.

Anyway, this is enough out of me.  I'd be curious to hear other people's
take on this as well...

Take care,

--Andre LaFosse
http://www.altruistmusic.com