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Re: A CALL TO CREATE LIVE GRASSROOTS LOOPING FESTIVALS
Rick Walker wrote...
> I recently wrote a letter to a fellow respected looping musician asking
>him if there was a chance of setting up a looping festival in the city
>that he lives in. This is part of the letter I recieved back from him
>in reply (which also generously shared contact and club information in
>> He wrote:
>> "........Well, as far as 'my city' being "happening"...I'd say there's
>about fifty musicians who work together in various loose-knit
>configurations and attend each other's shows (in groups of a half-dozen
>or so). There's no audience beyond that......... I'm not really
>interested in setting up a mini-festival. I dealt with that ..... where
>I used to live and it was a massive pain in the ass for very little
>return. The public doesn't really care how you make
interesting sounds, unless perhaps it's something exotic and fashionable
such as the Theremin--they just want to hear something interesting......."
To which Rick replied...
> I hear what you say about looping and looping festivals. It is
>virtually the same here. We've only had 50-100 people per show for 4
>looping shows. To be frank, though, I couldn't care less about
>popularity. I care about the quality of the work and the nurturing of
>young artists in a culture that undervalues their unique contributions...
>snip... > My point is that community and energy are more powerful,
>culturally speaking than pure monetarily driven commercialism... snip...
>> My point? Energy, Community and Creativity is what changes our
>culture for the better.
I've gotta jump in here as well... Regardless of audience demographics,
I've found that meeting other musicians and creating community is really
what drives MY playing and motivates me. Dialog with your peers really
brings a sense of shared effort and minimizes the feeling of lonliness
pervasive in "unpop" culture.
Many of us are lucky enough to be playing semi-normal sounding music which
somehow fits into an existing scene. What about those really wanting to
experiment? Push limits? Our audience is first and foremost our peers...
other players out there trying to have dialog with each other and learn
from each other.
This same problem exists in radical free-improv music... the so called
"creative" music scene really has an intense, thriving worldwide
community.. certainly with a small devout audience... but more certainly
fueled by a commitment among the players to follow the creative impulse
honestly **where ever** it arises regardless of current trends and
audience demographics... It's been discussed to death recently over at the
BA-NEWMUS list, and it's apparent that REALLY going for it and doing
whatever you really feel like, is never going to appeal to large masses...
It's too damned unpredictable... but it sure is HONEST and because of that
it gains a fanatically loyal commitment by a core group of artists, and an
ever growing group of listeners. What's so awful about that? I'm proud to
> Somebody once said that artists are the antennae of a culture, picking
>up and/or creating the emerging trends before the sweep over the culture.
> I agree.
I've heard this said too... Thanks for reminding me of this Rick... I
completely agree also.
Working together NOW... talking... playing... experimenting... learning...
All of this will inform our collective growth and make for a meaningful
dialog which will MAKE SENSE, in some way to listeners. We'll ultimately
be connected and not lonely anymore... or maybe we'll all be lonley
together? I can live with that! 8-)
Anyway... I'm off MY soap box now as well...