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Re: dancing loops
Hello Mathias. The more we talk about this, and the more I think about it, the more I would like to find a way to incorporate some live looping in the technique classes. Really responsive tap tempo control would be the first criteria. Someone (I apologize for forgetting who) had mentioned success with the Repeater in responding to tap tempo.
At VCU, we rotate playing for the different classes. Today I played for the Level 4 students (the Seniors and a few exceptional lower classmates). We had three mixed-meter combinations. The first was 3/4, two measures of 4/4, 5/4, 6/4, 7/4. The second was 6/8, 5/8, 7/8. The third was 3/8, 5/8 (2+3), 9/8 (2+2+2+3), and three measures of 3/8 - I made the decision to subdivide the 5/8 & 9/8 based on their movement, but also in the case of the 9/8 to differentiate between that and the three measures of 3/8 following it. The teacher took a couple of minutes to demonstrate each of these combinations to the students before she had me play.
For anyone who is interested, let's create a scenario for experimentation. Take the 6/8, 5/8, 7/8 phrase. Set a timer for 5 minutes. How quickly can you create these three successive loops? Can you set the EDP, or a Repeater for that matter, to cycle thru several loops continuously? The other possibility would be to create one loop that is the entire phrase. Experiment with adjusting the tempo. How quickly, and consistently, can you do this?
On the other side of this, it is important to note that not all classes use mixed-meter combinations. Who knows what the Level 4 students will be doing next week? I even think that there is a teacher at VCU that I have never even played an odd meter for (Freshman and non-major classes), much less a mixed meter.
I think that your thought of using a notebook full of prerecorded rhythms has possibilities.You would have to have a wide range of rhythmic "flavors" though. There is also the possibility of having more communication between teachers and accompaniests. If you knew what expect before you got to class (well mostly anyway), you would be in a better position to try this.
In a message dated 9/26/2002 12:40:22 PM Eastern Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Our dance specialist Mark "RandomLFO" said:
> Hi Mathias. Thanks for your reply. So I don't write an email
>that's too long, I am going respond to most of your questions with
>individual emails. I will also encourage all of you loopers to see
>if you can sit-in on some Improv and modern dance classes.
... and sent two long mails, explaining very well the complexity of the job.
I hate drum machines, personally, but from all the demands by the
instructors for quickly changing times and speeds it seems to me that
for a begginner at least, the easiest would be to take a notebook
along with a library of drum patterns that can be mounted as the
instructor explains what he wants and then freely adapted as he
changes his mind. The advantage for the dancers would be that each
repetition is exactly the same and for the musician it would be an
oportunity to learn to play along and for the overall sound you would
have a exact drum with someone playing more or less colorfull
along... did you try that or am I completely wrong here?