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Re: What's wrong with loops

Nicely said, Rick.
And happy Monza to you, too.

> [Original Message]
> From: loop.pool <looppool@cruzio.com>
> To: LOOPERS DELIGHT (posting) <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
> Date: 12/24/2005 7:32:46 AM
> Subject: Re: What's wrong with loops
> I posted this reply to the Oreilly Digital Audio Site article called
> 'What's wrong with loops?'
> SUBJECT:  A looper replies:
> I hear the frustration about looping programs like Garage Band, Acid and 
> Ableton's Live.
> The inherent block nature of laying down loops and repeating them can 
> frequently cause a lot of stasis:  especially harmonically:
> That being said:
> When you first learn how to play a guitar or a piano it take a long time
> learn how to play more complex harmonic pieces or progressions.
> Similarly,  when one learns how to use loops either in a software program
> in a live looping situation,  it takes time to get sophisticated doing
> a thing.
> Let us please consider that the first mass marketed live looping box, 
> Lexicon Jamman
> didn't hit the scene until 1995.   My brother and I bought one of those 
> immediately and began trying to learn how to use it at once.
> The first mass marketed looping program ACID didn't appear until the 
> late 90's (I'm not even sure exactly when 1.0 appeared).  I began trying
> make interesting music with that paradigm in the year 2000.
> Imagine not only that you started using a guitar or keyboard ten years
> but that they only invented the instrument 5-10 years ago.
> Sophistication takes time so to judge the looping world right now 5-10
> into it's
> initiation is really a little ahead of the game.
> To critique it.............by all means.........there's a lot to 
> But if you could have seen and heard the sophistication and astonishing 
> musical diversity that 40 live looping artists from 9 countries displayed
> Zurich this summer or that 50 artists from 7 countries displayed in 
> Cruz and San Francisco in October I think you'd have a different take on
> subject.
> This thread was brought to the attention of the huge live looping mecca 
> website, Loopers Delight (almost a million webhits a year) and most
> agreed that the world knows and hears about the 'block' orientation of
> Garage Band/Acid/Ableton's Live paradigm but that very few people know
> how sophisticated the International Live Looping movement has gotten.
> Even as far as the Garage-Aced-Live world goes, please go listen to what
> Beyond is doing with Ableton's Live before you right the whole paradigm
> **********
> Additionally, I have been reading the excellent book on the making of 
> seminal modal jazz record, 'Kind Of Blue' by Miles Davis.
> Miles felt in the long run that the spelling out of complex chordal
> and the whole bop multi chord progression approach was incredibly
> in the long run.
> 'Kind of Blue'  opened up the soloists to playing more harmonically 
> precisely because the scale was limited.........it left more space.
> When Teo Macero used some of the very first tape loops of the drummers 
> 'In a Silent Way' (which birthed the fusion movement) he also similarly 
> openened the way for the percussionists and the melodic and chordal
> to do much, much more with rhythmic placement.
> There is a lot of sophistication in music that comes from chordal and 
> harmonic complexity
> but the use of loops has also led the way for a tremendous upsurge in 
> publics exposure and appreciation of complexity in rhythm and timbre in
> past 20 years since samplers became really prevalent.
> I've found in my own life of performing and composing in styles as
> as rock and roll, world music, abstract electronica, found and invented 
> sound, funk, soul, jazz, etc. that no matter how sohpisticated a
> audience that it is pretty difficult to throw more than a couple of
> of complexity at them and expect the audience to 'get it'.
> In other words,  I you have bop rapid fire chordal changes or complex 
> stacked, suspended chords over modal approaches that it's really
> to play with just as much attendant
> rhythmic complexity (polyrhythms, complex odd time signatures, stacked
> dense interlocking rhythmic parts)  or with as much attendant timbral 
> complexity.
> Try playing Donna Lee with the timbral complexity of Nine Inch Nails or
> of the Industrial bands and it just doesn't work.
> Play music with the rhythmic freedom and intensity of high powered 
> musicians and then lay dense chordal structures or complex and rapid
> progressions and most people will fail similarly.
> If harmony is your thing...........it's beautiful.   But there are
> as complex and sophisticated as Mark Isham (who's music I adore, by the
> who use loops..........they just are using other approaches (timbre and 
> rhythm, primarily) to create their complexity.
> It's all good.  It's all the human spirit trying to express itself.
> Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Wonderful Solstice and a Bitchen Kwaanza
> everyone,
> Rick Walker   aka  |()()p.p()()|
> producer/promoter:
> Y2K5 International Live Looping Festival
> Every October in Santa Cruz, California