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Re: Musicianship, live technique, etc...


A.S.P. wrote:
 >First of all, when working with other musicians, how important is
 >communication while playing, especially when all of the material is 90 to
 >100% improvised?  I mean like giving each other cues, or just staying in
 >touch with the other guy/guys to see where they're at.  
 >The reason I bring this up is that I've noticed that when I work with my
 >new partner, that we almost never make eye contact and musically I'm
 >finding it hard to connect - it seems like we're having two monologues
 >rather than a conversation.  I know that in some types of music this is
 >desirable, but I can't imagine that this will have satisfying results
 >when this is the only way people work together.

This is a very interesting concept.  I find that the more musically 
"in-tune" you are 
with the person you are working with, the more you can simply ignore them. 
 The less 
"in-tune" you are, the more you have to make eye-contact etc. in order to 
flow well 
together.  It is possible that you and your partner are simply not all 
that compatible.  

However, I also think that it is important to understand that 
compatibility is not vitally 
necessary in order to create great music.  As long as you are both 
skilled, your 
individual skills can make up for it.  But also keep in mind that for most 
styles of 
music, communication of some form or another (whether innate or practiced) 
be obtained in order to have functionality.

 >Secondly:  I'm beginning to understand breaks in composition.  I mean
 >dead spaces, quiet spaces, quieter spaces - increasing dynamic range.
 >When we work together, one recipe we use is one person will do a complex
 >drone, the other will do rhythmic sequential stuff.  One problem I've been
 >having is that the music just goes on and on and there aren't any
 >breaks... it feels like a need to keep the music going no matter what, and
 >this seems really tiring after a while, like "hey, we're trying to
 >overload your circuits, relentlessly".  
 >I find it easier to work with people's attention when one takes down the
 >levels and gives their brain a chance to breathe, then re-engaging them in
 >the process.
 >I'm very interested in how you loopers deal with this, since looping
 >essentially means endless music.  
 >Romeo F. 

You can put dead spaces into your loops.  Most loopers, though, seem to go 
for the 
wall of sound ideal.  In this instance, "dead" spaces can be obtained in a 
variety of 
ways, such as the dynamics of the sounds occurring *on top* of the loop, 
having a 
very short feedback of a delay based looped (i.e. only 2 or 3 repetitions 
of the loop), 
having dynamic changes *within* the loop (such as with a long loop of over 
10 sec.), 
using a variety of tonal options within the loop (dark, long sounds with 
brights tones, the use of more than one tone generating instrument 
{guitar, flute, 
synth, samples, percussion, etc.}) etc., etc., etc.

 >PS: A little side note - I was asked to provide some sound installations
 >for an event I was also playing at.  I decided to come up with some audio
 >"fountains".  I made a tape of my modular synthesizer, plus mixing in
 >some other tape material.  The idea was to play them on some custom tape
 >decks that will play a cassette endlessly, in mono, not repeating the
 >music for 4 hours. I also kept in mind that these "fountains" would be
 >playing in quieter spaces, away from the main events where people might be
 >relaxing or having conversations, so I made a point of letting the music
 >play, but then recording - often minutes - of dead silence or very quiet
 >passages.  The music would stop as some fountains do periodically.  I was
 >hoping this would provide both entertainment and relaxation or refuge.

This is a *hip* idea.  Can I steal it?


Rev. Doubt-Goat