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Re: looping with other musicians
An interesting subject.
As for me, I really prefer to play with other musicians (whether
I loop or not). I've performed (while looping) in some pretty large
ensembles too (some octets and larger) darn successfully. I just
takes some understanding on everybody's part -- even if it's
largely an improvising ensemble.
As for the seeming conflict between the chaos of "free" playing
and the restricting regularity (spanking) of looping on a muso-
philosophical level, I'd say it would be instructive to read Ilse
Aichinger's little short story "The Bound Man" sometime. Again,
if everyone in a group understands the implications of the
presence of a loop it'll work much better.
There is power and beauty to be found in the "tension" between
the extremes of chaotic freedom and the restrictive geometric
"grid" of looping. It's just my opinion though. It's one of the things
that "gets me off" about looping . . . two textures . . . two elements . . .
one sort of free form . . . another sort of regular . . . patterned . . .
yin . . . and yang. Some folks just like yin. Others just like yang.
To each their own.
But, of course, I'm not thinking about any of this while I'm playing
(if I'm doing my job right). I'm not thinking very much at all -- except
on a reptillian/insect, instinctual sort of level. I'm trying to "feel"
something heart-wise and gut-level and extrude it through my
fingers. My brain needs to get the hell out of the way to do this.
It's when my brain doesn't get out of the way that I have "bad"
performance experiences. Folks have a variety of ways of
describing where their "muse" comes from. This is mine.
When that happens for a whole group of musicians all at once
it's a really special, transcendent experience. It doesn't happen
very often I am told (nor have I experienced it more than just a few
times myself). Sometimes an audience can tell that something is
"going on" per se . . . and sometimes not. It's elusive.
Music making is more "mystery" than mechanical "method"
for me. I wish I understood some of that "mystery" just a
little bit better. Working in groups is restrictive too. Unless
some level of common understanding is reached the end
result will really be chaos.
We're all back to "understanding" again. There's a loop.
Then again I am babbling. I'm tired. I'm still recovering from Y2K4.
I think I'm catching Michael Klobuchar's cold and I should just
go back to bed.
tEd ® kiLLiAn
Ted Killian's "Flux Aeterna" is also available at: Apple iTunes,
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