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Re: One (possibly) Redeeming Quality of Solo Looping (was Improvisation Ears)

On Feb 27, 2005, at 22:29, Emile Tobenfeld (a.k.a Dr. T) wrote:

> My music tends to involve setting up a bunch of simultaneous complex 
> processes and then interacting with them. There is too much going on 
> for me to be in  control of each process simultaneously -- so my 'big 
> ears' (such as they are) need to be applied selectively to determine 
> which process can use my attention., which can be let alone, and which 
> has warn out its welcome and need to be stopped or muted. This is a 
> lot easier in a solo situation.

I like to think about human perception of music as "gestures". No 
matter the amount of instruments, musicians or looping effect boxes 
involved - my favorite number of "gestures" is three! In music I like 
to listen to and play there is optimally three simultaneous gestures 
going on at the same time. On such gesture can be made up by 
tremendously complex details of sound, but I don't listen to the 
complexity at all when improvising. I listen to the gesture and let it 
accompany my own gestures.

This gives that the perfect group for playing free improvisation is 
three musicians. When you are part of  an improvising trio you can 
pretty much play things that differs from what the other play and it 
will still come out as meaningful music. As soon as there are more 
musicians you have to start looking for gestures in music that is not 
"the noise created by a singular musicians", i.e. musicians have to 
form cells within the group sound and such a cell should harness the 
same gesture.

This is just what I have found out and it may not be relevant for 
everyone. But for me it works amazingly well both for composition, 
improvisation in group and "looping device enhanced group 
improvisation". In solo live-looping I tend to work on three gestures 
as well. It's easy to imply two gestures with just one instrument if 
you play lines in the "questions and answers" manner, and then a 
looping device can take on the third role.

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
http://www.looproom.com (international)
http://www.boysen.se (Swedish site)