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Re: What public is attracted by a Y2K Sampler Video?

What public is attracted by a Y2K Sampler Video?

Or better yet,  what public is attracted to attend a Live Looping Festival?

After having worked my ass off over the past 10 years to try and make it 
so that
the dozens of artists who've performed without pay could made this 
festival a reality,
I've had to ask myself these questions over and over again.

The deeper question is even:   what is important or meaningful about 
this festival at all?

Why do it?    Why play it?

Well, honestly,  I have to admit  that apart from the fact that all the 
people who live in this immediate area, geographically
and all the people who participate at Loopers Delight (well, the mailing 
members at least) know about the festival,  
the general population popularity of live looping has not increased 
dramatically from the presence of these festivals in the last ten years.

We faced an analogous situation when we worked so hard to make the World 
Beat scene happen in the early
80's.    On some level,  the general public NEVER got it on a mass scale 
(re:  dollars spent,  CDs purchased)
After 3 or 4 years, however,   the influence of that movement began to 
show up on pop records;  on car commercial soundtracks;
in movie soundtracks;  in production techniques;  in the acceptance of 
new grooves,  instruments and even scales in
popular music in general.     The bands who aligned themselves with the 
movement were never hugely successful (aside
from several sold out shows in regional clubs)...............This can be 
said of the live looping movement as well.

Two things DID occur, however:      A great deal of excitement was 
generated and a genuine community
was created around a particular metaphor that was really engaging and fun.

Did everybody love it?     No!       Did some people resent it and feel 
boxed in by it's confines?   Absolutely.
But this can be said about any style of music at all.

So why do it? Why work so hard for this community?

Well, with the looping festivals I have noticed the following positive 
effects and they have emboldened me
to work hard to promote the festival.    Some of these positive effects 
are small and some of these are larger and
effect more people:

1)  a group of really interesting and original musicians from around the 
world have become good friends and have
traveled to each other's countries to perform, exchange techniques, 
philosophies and musical influences.

2)  some of these musicians have created live looping festivals in their 
own countries,  that have generated interest in
press, radio and some small percentage of the public pushing the 
movement modestly further as has Y2K.

3)  many, many newbies were enthralled with the concept of being in a 
movement that wasn't exclusive due
to style or genre or even experience (and this may be singular in the 
history of popular music if very modest in effect)    They now are 
actively involved
with live looping and innovating on a continual basis.   People like 
Bill Putnam of Universal Audio,   Bob Amstadt of Looperlative, etc., etc.

4)  Many people who have not performed before or recorded albums of all 
original creative music were inspired enough
to perform for the first time................to record 
records................to collaborate with other artists who they would 
have stumbled upon if it weren't for the 'vibe' of the festival.   The 
artists in this movement have initiated cross planet
looping 'jams' and concerts, some of the first of this kind in history.

5)  Artist after artist have written me, thanking me profusely for the 
inspiration they received by attending the festivals.
Many have told me that the festivals completely turned around their own 
artistic lives because they now felt that they
had a place where they belong.

6)  Many professional artists felt inspired to put out recordings of all 
original music that they might not have
put out because they felt that there was a sense of people appreciating 
their work

7) Much innovation in technology, including technology that was 
specifically designed to create new modes of
expression that couldn't be accomplished without the innovation has 
occurred.     Bob Amstadt of Looperlative,
as an example, started his company because he was inspired by going to 
the Bass Looping Festival at the San
Jose Museum of Art.   

8)  Specific innovation in software and concepts have been created 
because artists
who were aggressive and progressive in their use of live looping 
technology pushed for changes in the software and
hardware being created.    A lot of features in the EDP,  the 
Looperlative,  the Boomerang and Mobius, and others
were artist driven, and, even more importantly,  were frequently driven 
by artists who have attended the festivals.

9)  Many musicians have changed loopers they've used because they saw 
artists using them at festivals.   As an example,
I would never have gotten into the EDP if I hadn't seen the magic that 
Andre LaFosse created with it...................


So, does everyone dig it?    NO!!!!!    Do some people feel put off by 
it?   Absolutely!

Really strong artists like Andre LaFosse,  Miko B.  Lucio Menegon, Steve 
Lawson have not wanted to participate or
to be confined by the definition of Live Looping.     That's not only 
cool,  but it is to be expected.    A lot of artists by
their very emotional nature don't feel comfortable with belonging to ANY 
movement.    A lot of very important and influential
artists have felt this way with this and with past musical movements,  
styles or genres.

Many really famous artists are too big for us to attract to the 
festival:    Kellar Williams,  David Torn,   Imogen Heap,  Katy Tunstill ,
Robert Fripp, etc., etc.

So is it perfect?   No!         Is it universally appealing?    Hell no!

Is it a blessing in many people's lives even if we only preach to the 
'converted'     Absolutely!


So maybe Jim Goodin's work in putting together this small not even 
completely inclusive video sampler
is merely to make the small number of artists  who have wonderful 
memories of a fantastic and inspiring weekend, smile.
That's not an insignificant consequence of putting it up.

Also,  to be fair (and this I send in particular to Miko B for his 
previous comments)
watching the vids on youtube  just doesn't get what it felt like to 
attend the festival..............what is missed
was the interaction between the sets, much of the magical moments that 
didn't make it onto media and the serious hangs
and jams that occurred between the performances.

So,  Matthias,  I say,  if putting this stuff up brings more people to 
this non style/non genre oriented community
that's a huge plus,   but it doesn't lack value if it doesn't.

Come hang out and perform at Y2K-X  next year:      You'll get why it's 
a cool thing to do.   I promise you
you'll want to see the highlights when it's over. 

And if you decide not to,  more power to you!    Truly!

Rick Walker
Y2K Live Looping Festivals