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musical judgement and perspective (was Re:)

Larry and the loopers on list,

Larry, your achievements are impressive and humbling for my admittedly 
baby steps chops.  I also admire your privilege, having more or less 
raised myself in a working class, musically illiterate family (by your 
standards, at least).  All I have are my ears and what the sounds of the 
world can teach me about structure, proportionality, harmony and 
disharmony and a broader acoustic perspective.  In short, a musician I 
am not by your standards, even if I try to apply such an acoustic 
perspective to musical instruments.

I do have some questions, then, and other's on the list should feel free 
to contribute to such a discussion.

Where does 'looping' then fit in with this very clearly marked classical 
and jazz canon from which you appear to be working?  You say that we are 
slaves to technology, but can I ask in what ways we can engage with 
looping as a musical technology without enslaving ourselves? 

Personally, my instruments of choice are found sounds, synthesised 
sounds and, like yourself, classical guitar.  Unlike yourself, I have no 
classical training, and as such, turned to looping to provide a 
real-time acoustic echo to learn more about the sounds I am making with 
the guitar.  I have mainly relied on listening to learn what little I 
know, and in some ways have come to think of looping tools as a "third 
ear" with which to allow some critical distance from the things I am 
doing with the guitar.  Nonetheless, however, I also use looping tools 
because it's fun!  Afterall, one should be 'play-ing' an instrument, not 
just working it.

Sooo, my point is?  At 28, I have to say that my musical journey is 
still beginning.  I should like to take it further and really push my 
personal boundaries with regards to music, but I know that I doubtfully 
will ever have the privilege or education to, as you say, break the 
rules from a position of thoroughly knowing them.  So I stand on the 
shoulders of those who have already attempted to break them.  Which is 
ultimately the pretense at the heart of the issue here.  Rules are a 
social system of control that can become very oppressive, and also a 
system that accepts very few into the inner circle of fully knowing 
these rules.  So the looping as a technological enslavement issue is to 
me not about enslavement, but personal surrender to an alternate 
system.  I know that one system is closed off to me - that of classical 
and jazz music - and I also am inspired nonetheless by what I hear 
coming from that system.  So the rejection hurts.  It is a paradox to be 
sure, but in the surrender to and learning of a technological system one 
can find a very rewarding and enriching freedom from the constraints 
imposed by other, perhaps more social systems - a type of self 
reinforcement that I can in fact be master of a domain, even if it is a 
limited technical domain.  Slowly and surely I am opening the definition 
of that technical system to include sound, and eventually, hopefully, 
music.  Whether that's music to your ears or not is not much of a 
concern to me, I'm just another human trying to get by and have a little 
fun and retain personal integrity in the process.  Since I don't want 
especially to be judged for not conforming to the standards of a 
privileged few, for now I don't call myself a musician...