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Re: Loop station

At 11:10 PM -0200 11/4/02, Matthias Grob wrote:

>I just dont understand how those people can play together without any 
>I mean, before musicans looped, didnt the mostly try to play 
>together, tempowhise?

This is an interesting problem (or "opportunity" if you choose to 
look at it that way).

Since I didn't hear this particular session I can't comment, but it 
reminds me of some networked performances I've witnessed, where 
performers were in different cities. The transmission latencies 
between the different locations were extreme, more than a half second 
in some cases. Two performances in particular took place between 
Santa Monica and Nice as part of the Manca Festival.

In the first one Terry Riley was in Nice and David Rosenboom was in 
Santa Monica, both of them playing MIDI keyboards. Because both of 
them were experienced working with delays and fluid time structures, 
they had no trouble playing a duet that had no rigid meter. The 
overall tempo was pretty much the same, but each musician's part 
"slid" freely in and out of sync with the other's.

The following year Terry was in Santa Monica, playing a duet with a 
French percussionist in Nice. In this case there was audio as well as 
MIDI being transmitted, so we had to make adjustments to the 
percussion part so that his audio and MIDI streams were in sync with 
each other. This performance was also good, though less thrilling 
than the one with David Rosenboom.

I think a lot of looping performance is based on a different sense of 
time from non-looped music. It doesn't necessarily need to depend on 
a sub-pulse (or a "common beat" if you prefer). Even in the case of 
"pulsatile" music it is quite possible for different performers to 
march to their own separate "inner drummers." Anyone familiar with 
Steve Reich's phase music has encountered this sort of rhythmic 
consciousness. Conlon Nancarrow's music is another example of 
independent tempo streams, though Conlon had the advantage of 
mechanical players.

Richard Zvonar, PhD
(818) 788-2202