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Re: Ich bin eine Nervensäge (Was: The Artist's Right To Be Boring)
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), improv music is an art-form that
contrary to other media such as painting, the people observing have no
what they will get until the first buzz sounds and the last drone ends.
sure, they know they're getting improv but they've already plunked down
money(hopefully) and while they may know approximately what they're
it's not like walking into an exhibition of Modern Art and saying, "Ohh I
like that, I'll buy it," or "yuck, who would pay for that?" Hence, true
improv looping without any non-improv stuff, does indeed lend itself more
the crowd that wants to enjoy the process not the result. Though if the
result fits their likings, so much the better! Either way the music is the
baby and one can't just wing it without trying to "do it right", at least
ourselves. But without the proper audience, it becomes a somewhat selfish
exercise of "They paid me, here I go!"
In such an environment, detachment from the end result would probably
the looper better and is perhaps easier than for those who perform
non-improv tunes where a result is expected.
Reminds me of one of my gigs a couple years ago where I reintroduced
into my tunes after many years without. Turns out the sound guy had no
what he was doing and as I started my first tune he started messing with
EQ right in the midst of the beginning looping part. The result? A 20
second loop that played for the entire song that had interesting layers of
bass feedback. (the looper I had did not have UNDO) For me the song lost
resemblance to what I intended but salvaged it. In the end it became more
improv than I intended and I had to throw out my intention of doing some
reverse loops because it would have REALLY muddied the waters. The best
thing about it was that folks came up afterwards saying how they loved my
incorporating the "Hendrix sound" into that first song. The good news was
that they didn't feel cheated by my performance. Of all things, while I
my best on stage and prepare, in the end, the folks that plunk down money
see me deserve to get their money's worth. Sometimes I don't know what
want -and to some extent that's MY fault for not researching the gig and
demographic properly. Don't get me wrong, I do plenty of "letting it
unfold" type of stuff and I DO need to be true to myself. But in a paid
gig, I do have an obligation of sorts to give them their moneys worth.
enough thoughts for now...
Plish (whose intestines are improvising and causing me to loop to and from
the washroom repeatedly)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Sottilaro" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2007 12:39 PM
Subject: Ich bin eine Nervensäge (Was: The Artist's Right To Be Boring)
I've been lurking in this thread... and as a performer who's
profoundly dull... I think I've come to the conclusion that, for me,
the world of music puts too much of an emphasis on performance. I've
got to say that at 95% of music shows I've ever been too... I'm
usually ready to leave after about a half hour no matter how much I
like the music. I'm usually too far away... it's too loud, Fripp is
shrouded in darkness (literally and metaphorically) Dancing is not
an option because it's too crowded (screw you hippy ass hole jumping
around like an idiot running into people at the last Belew show...
I'M TALKING TO YOU!)
On the other hand, I love playing with other musicians... just not on
stage. Last time I jammed on stage with other musicians (Rick and
Bill Walker) I couldn't hear our monitors at all and as it turned out
I was screamingly loud compared to them (as reported by my friends).
So, while being fun to me it probably wasn't much fun for the
audience. Hopefully they were distracted by the pretty video of sea
life we were projecting behind us, or our collective devilishly good
looks. Oh yeah, and during my solo performance my KAOSS pad (true to
it's name) decided it was OK to start sending MIDI program change
messages done the line (after I asked it nicely not to) and a turn of
the program change knob scrolled through my guitar patches at
hyperspeed while I was sustaining a chord...
So... I'm boring and un-fun to watch. I put up videos and video
games projected behind me to cover the fact that I'm creating ambient
drones and mostly making eye contact with LCD displays. I'm losing
my head hair and rapidly gaining ear hair. I'm nervous, unskilled at
many instruments and a bit of a blowhard because I want you to like
me and think I'm cool so I over compensate.
Anyway, if anyone would like to perform with me, at my home, with my
dog and cat as our audience, let me know. I've just set up shop in
Emeryville CA and I'm itching to bore.