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Re: is using Pre-recorded Loops Cheating
As you may have noticed by my lack of emails, I'm trying to spend less time writing and doing email and more doing music and pursuing a sustainable life. But this is a great topic and I have a thought:
If it works it works and if it doesn't it doesn't. Music isn't mathematics or something that can be codified at all. We ALL try to do it - to explain the inexplicable. I remember learning music theory in college and realizing this is what people who aren't standing in the river do. They describe the physics of swimming. But it's just what we do when the Muse isn't speaking to us. When She speaks, it doesn't matter if we're pre recorded, over or under dubbed, playing advanced guitar or primitive digiridoo or what. If the music speaks to the soul and smile etc of the listener (and, more importantly the artist) then we're all, to complete the metaphor, swimming home. Or maybe floating home.
So the goal is to draw the listener into the water with us. For some it will be unrehearsed, totally spontaneous, never thought of before stuff and for some it will be completely ironed out highly polished diamonds. I'm guessing most all of us have done both.
It's the spirit and inspiration that count. I and I don't think most listeners care HOW the music is made. Musicians of course do care but I still think that's describing swimming. And, as someone so wisely once said, "I don't think any one walks down the street whistling the sound of a $30,000 Telefunken mic."
As someone wisely pointed out, even karaoke can turn some folks on. American Idle and all that. Not my cup of tea but I'm too busy to worry about that. We're all evolving at light speed and you gotta start somewhere!
To me, really great music is nearly - no - TOTALLY impossible to describe or codify. I recently worked with a new very young artist who is dazzling good. His/our recordings just got a rave hot pick in Spin Magazine. http://www.spin.com/articles/catch-buzz-joe-pug
What makes his music and lyrics stand out? I don't know. But I know it when I hear it. And the same applies to loops and loopers etc. I do have my fave loopers and their music has this mystery factor. I have my fave looper pundits and analysts and their minds and passion for purity etc is so fun and really inspiring to read. But that's concepts, and concepts can be crippling when it comes to art and (devil's advocate) concepts can be the key to the highway in art. Plenty artists in the 20s thru the 60s made a big splash with their culturally advanced minds as opposed to their fine art talents. Depends on the level of passion and timing etc. For the record, most conceptual art doesn't speak to me but that doesn't mean it's not wonderful etc. To me, it's intellect. That's something else.
Music is like the spiritual world. The people who spend so much time trying to define God (or deny God's existence) are standing by the pool, in pressed slacks and wingtips, dry as a bone, pontificating on the people in the water. Of course God doesn't exist! Just like you can't codify what makes music some music great and some music great background stuff. The difference is intangible! But of course God exists. Just like some music just hits you in the face and knocks you down.
If we really knew how it worked, it wouldn't work.
So pre recorded or not doesn't matter to me. It's whether the music moves me, stops my mind dead in its tracks. I call it the God Moment. I think it was Thomas Aquinas who first pointed this out. When the mind stops, eternity touches the earth. If it stops long enough and for enough folks, history is made... Hendrix, Dylan, Robert Johnson, Beethoven, Beatles etc.
After 40+ years of trying to figure out music and God, I'm realizing that it's all a mischievous paradox that teaches, humbles, mystifies and bamboozles us into pushing forward.
For me, if it does that, it's real and it works. The core of the answer is a mystery. I really love how it humbles me.
All I really know is, I like the feeling of water on my skin. I've dedicated my life to it. I don't get in the pool all that often, but when I do, all the sit ups and training suddenly seem worth it.
So - here's hoping no one sees this as a dis. It isn't. It's the rant of a man who loves music and no longer knows why.
glassWing farm and studio
vancouver island, b.c.
On 16-May-08, at 5:57 AM, email@example.com wrote:
Quoting Rick Walker <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
Matt Davignon wrote:The OK/Not OK issue is a test that I apply only to myself. It occurs to me that what I would consider "cheating" for me (a composer/performer/improviser) would be "ok" within someone else's artistic space.
"Things that are not OK:
For every thing that I can think of that I personally wouldn't do, there is at least one celebrated artist who has done those very things.
I have to conclude that the only thing that is not OK for me is to: try to be someone that I'm not and/or try to be all things to all people.
Whether I happen to compose a work that uses my own pre-recorded material or is entirely live, I simply do what is necessary for me to realize the result that I want.
John Foxx was reallyYes! Yes! Often when I perform a work, I look for a crescendo of emotion the same as I look for dynamic, tempo, texture, and rhythmic changes.
interested in emotions and lack of emotions: machines interacting with human
Often times, there is more excitement and tension from "holding back" than from "giving 100% emotion 100% of the time".
To me, the artificial was far more exotic and enticing.I think the beauty of analog synthesis is its failure to replicate acoustic instruments.
Even trying to emulate a drum machine perfectly is fun for me becauseIn my looping works, I discovered that not all loops have to be played by looping hardware. Sometimes I just play the same phrase over and over in real time. In fact, I try to play it mechanically enough that it really SOUNDS like a loop. I have found this a most effective technique.
I'm a human being and can't do it. It's just fascinating to me the really
minor imperfections that occur when attempting to do something silly like
Personally, I have to confess that the preoccupation of many musicians inAlways a balancing act between repetition vs. meandering. Too much of either can be boring. How much is too much? Heck, I don't know.
their attempts to never have anything repeated is actually more irritating to
me than the ones who are guily of repeating things over and over.
That's my take on it, though it probably won't be the most popular on thisRaising my coffee mug in a toast to Rick, Matt, and everyone else here.
I am grateful for this thread ... it gave me some ideas for some new music.