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Low Self Esteem and Looping
"In my opinion, there are deeper currents of why we feel we 'come up
but that's a long winded thread that is terribly off topic and probably
personal for the wonder that is the internet."
Quite frankly, Rich, I think that western culture is steeped in low self
esteem and that it radically reduces the creative and artistic output of
lion share of it's artists.
I think this is actually a vitally important thing to talk about here at
Loopers Delight and on the internet.
We also, in this country, seem to be very uncomfortable talking about
feelings and emotions in public (and especially
in an internet forum such as this).
This is precisely why I think it should be a topic of conversation.
In my experience (having taught over 2500 private students and played with
hundreds of different kinds of musicians)
there is a kind of 'Olympic' mentality that tends to pervade music. You
know, this is reflected in the "If I"m not going to be the best or at the
very top of all the musicians doing the kind of thing that I do, then it
just isn't worth all the effort to try and learn how to play" kind of
Brian Eno's notion that 6 billion humans would make 6 billion completely
idiosyncratic red crayon/white paper drawings of a house and a tree is
really germane here.
It is easy to forget in our 'Grammy' award winning mass culture, that the
impetus to be creative seems to be universal.
Many cultures like the vastly creative Balinese culture don't even have
words for Art in their vocabulary, simply because everyone in the artist
goes home after work and does something creative.
What I have loved about the live looping community is that the technology
seems to have some kind of liberating effect
on musicians. Lots of other technologies and styles of musics have a
similar effect so I'm not claiming anything extraordinary for our
here, but viewing all of the artists, newbies and pros alike, at the Y2K4
inspired me and reaffirmed my faith that everyone has the ability to be
unique and creative artistically.
It could be me just being an old fart (cue up the old geezer saying, "In
day, we bled for our art and we LOVED IT!")
but as a teacher I have noticed a very dramatic decline in the interest
level of young musicians in the past ten years.
In my experience, students are less 'gung ho', less educated (by a large
factor), less inclined to take chances with creativity than they were say
15 or 20 years ago.
There are a lot of reasons for this (if it is, indeed true, and I can't
prove it more than anecdotally): the advent of Video games, massive
amounts of entertainment to be viewed, 400 stations on television, much
faster editing styles in
Videos leading to much lower attention spans. The attention span of my
typical students is about ten minutes an hour less than it used to be.
finding a lot of students are overwhelmed by a 40 minute lesson whereas 20
years ago, it was barely enough time to cover what needed to be covered.
I think a lot of all of this is directly attributable to low self esteem.
Don't get me wrong, I have just as much of it as anyone (you should have
seen my knees shaking when I did my live looping presentation at PASIC
last week as a confirmation) but I think this is something that we need to
start talking about as artists and musicians and loopers.
I think the mutual support is incredibly important and one thing I hear
than anything is how inspiring creatively it is to
be around 50 loopers for a weekend, just because everyone: newbies and
alike all feel really supported.
What do y'all think about this (can you tell I"ve been in Nashville for a
ps by the way and apropos of absolutely nothing, I got to shake Aretha
Franklin's hand after her performance on
Sunday at a Casino outside of Memphis, Tennessee.
I want to publicly thank the generosity, love and support of Tom Roady for
hosting me in the past fantastic week.
You should have seen him playing with Aretha, with the legendary Roger
Hawkins (of Muscle Shoals fame) and I looking on.
He was incredible!! And dammit!!!!! He's a live looper! LOL.
I talked to a lot of young percussionists who are planning on going out
buying their first DL 4 or Boss Loopstation to
get into looping for the first time. It's totally down to Tom for
me the opportunity to evangelize like that. Thanks brother!!!!