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Re: How do you approach looping composition?

Very interesting ideas!

I'm sorry my English is so poor I can't express as I whould.

I begin understanding how experienced loopers approach composing. your 
classification of looping approaches is very interesting, it helped me 
to re-organize my approach and choose between different strategies. It's 
strange how organizing ideas can simplify the creative process!

Your ideas helped me also to understand a problem in my approach:

I couldn't stop playing and letting the loop go! I had the impression 
not to be playing...
After a bit reflection I thougt the reason is that when I try to imagine 
me looping live in front of some audience, I'm scared about the idea of 
stop playing a bit and letting things go. I'll try to visualize the 
question in a different way: a non-musical idea of playing live was more 
important than music itself!

It's incredible how looping is linked to self-knowledge, in particular 
for musicians not used to play alone!


max valentino wrote:

> Thank you, Scott, for the very nice compliment!
> In regards to composition with loops, one must consider just what you 
> want/need to do with the loop, when and how.
> I have been giving all of this a lot of attention lately in my own 
> work.  For me, the challenge has been to make the "loopage" more 
> interactive with the real time playing.
> One very cool aspect of the LD list,is the interchange bewteen 
> players.  It seems all of us use different approaches to 
> looping/performance/composition, of which the techniques, tips and 
> tricks we are all quite welcome, even eager, to share with others.  
> This allows for a great deal of mutual influences and 
> cross-pollination, so to speak.
> I have noticed a few things about we loopists and how we work.
> There are some of us who pile up fx and processing before the loop and 
> make each "layer" have it's own sonic signature, allowing it to 
> standout from the other layers.  In this aspect, it is much like 
> multi-track recording, and is very much an additive approach in which 
> our "box" is contiually being filled until it can simply hold no 
> more.   Perhaps, Christian, this is one dilemma you have encountered 
> with your own looping.  Of course, the only remedy to this is to know 
> when to stop adding to the loop.
> At thast point it may be creative to begin subtracting from the loop, 
> peeling away layers before constructing new ones.
> There are also some on this list who prefer to process, or "treat" the 
> loops themselves; often referred to here as "mangling".  In some ways 
> this helps to alieviate the "filling up the box" syndrome, as with 
> this technique the loopist needs to pay attention to what has already 
> been recorded, and how that is been effected by any treatments. For 
> instrance, running a loop thru a filter device can drastically change 
> the sonic foundation and "flow" of a piece, taking it along an 
> entirely new tangent.  This approach can seem to subtractive, as the 
> player is, at times, filtering out bits of sound, or, at very least, 
> "evolving", mutating, or re-constructing an recorded (and looped) event.
> Of course, there are those who do both of the above.  Again, the key 
> to a well-looped performance is knowing when to stop adding to a loop, 
> when to treat, or stop treating, when to "undo"..etc.
> And, that just comes with hours and hours of practice, and paying 
> attention to oine's own creative flow.
> In both cases here, there is a tendancy to create a loop and let it 
> run, with all the varied, "added" parts, for the length of a piece.  
> For my own compositons, of late, I have been working with loops 
> which    I "fly" in and out of a piece, adding color and texture, 
> rather than being a static event which I add to or play over.  Having 
> the ability to run multiple loops in parallel means I can fade in and 
> out short loops to add color/contrast, density, accompaniment, and 
> texture to a solo bass piece.  I can "remove" them from the piece, and 
> yet bring them back at a different point in the performance to provide 
> a sense of continuity.  This makes the "loop" interactive with my own 
> playing, and hopefully, when done right, it is seamless enough to not 
> stand out from the rest of the "played" performance ( in what the 
> audience may percieve as "canned").
> Again, this is considering how you use a loop, as well as when, and 
> where the loop is used. Recording a loop, rhythmic or harmonic, 
> layering a buch of stuff over it, and playing over that, while being 
> the "direction" many of us started taking when we first entered into 
> looping, hardly makes use of the potential of "live-looping" (yet 
> again, it is one approach which is certainly viable....if only a 
> "one-dimensional" approach, and again, knowing when to stop adding to 
> the loop will make it more "musical", knowing when to peel away layers 
> of the loop could help make this approach more two-dimensional).
> Then there is the LaFosse-school, where the players actually "plays" 
> the loop.  Andre actually eschews any fx processing in his gtr-EDP-amp 
> signal chain, but his ability to "play" the EDP, carving up , slicing 
> and dicing, his gtr loops, creates something totally unique and 
> wonderful, and is a rather original way of "composing" with loops.
> Although I do not use an EDP, Andre's work, and his techniques of 
> working with a loop (rather than merely to it), has had a tremedous 
> influence on my own concepts of "composing" with loops.
>  This "interactive-ness" allows the tool (looping device) to become an 
> instrument in its' own right, and leads to countless possibilities of 
> re-structuring both sound and the form of a composition.
> Max
>> From: Scott Kungha Drengsen >
>> Hello Christian,
>> My 1st Cd "Bassapes" was pretty much layering and reverse on a 
>> Boomerang.(This was before I discovered this list the Echoplex and 
>> the work of Daved Torn and Jeff Pearce).I think that Steve Lawson and 
>> Max Valentino are bassists who are masters of this approach.
>> cristian cascetta wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>> It's my first post (even if I registered to the mailing list 5 
>>> months ago), so I'd like to introduce myself:
>>> How do you approach looping composition? I'd like to create some 
>>> composition and a little repertoire, as I'd like to try some bass 
>>> looping busking.
>>> When I try to compose something, I start with some simple riff, then 
>>> I add some layer, but soon I've the impression of overplaying and 
>>> messing up everything.
>>> I think that I'm focusing too much on the looping paradigm, and I 
>>> lose the musical inspiration. Another disturbing thing is that I 
>>> tend to answer and react to the loops I create filling every silent 
>>> part producing a strong anxiety impression in what I play.
>>> I know composing is a very personal matter, but I hope to get some 
>>> suggestions from you experienced loopers.
>>> cristian
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