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Re: Static Loops, Quantized Sequences and Music that Breathes

Quoting RICK WALKER <looppool@cruzio.com>:

> --
> D. wrote:
> " the drummer doesn't like clicks or
> flashing lights & in any case, we all think that for the music to be
> able to "breathe", we don't want quartz-locked BPM.
> Having been a live and studio drummer professionally for 30 years I
> feel compelled to
> chime in here...

This topic is fascinating and so relevant to the looping genre wherein  
we humans (inherently intuitive and flexible) interact with machines  
(inherently mechanical).

My professional work is as a classical organist. Most (electric  
action) pipe organs are inherently sloppy. Often times the console  
(the keyboards) are seperated by great distances to the pipes.  Before  
the day of solid state actions, the the combined travel time of all  
the mechanical relay switches contributed to the slop.  As a result of  
all of this, most organists learn to play "ahead of the beat" to  
compensate for the delays.  Add to this that we are also trying to  
pull congregations along to keep them from dragging... again, playing  
a little ahead of the beat.  Now, if this isn't enough to destroy  
one's sense of timing, consider that most hymns are written with  
straight, un-syncopated rhythmns.

To practice organ with a metronome is quite an experience -- you hear  
the music half a beat after you hit the notes!

I have often thought that organists should be REQUIRED to study drums  
as a second instrument as an antidote to the straight rhythmic  
language of most  traditional church music.

As beautiful as soaring melodies and sonorous harmonies are, rhythm is  
the force that drives the music -- even when percussion instruments  
aren't used.  In an involved work, such as a Bach fugue, a missed note  
or two isn't too noticeable however a botched rhythm messes everything  

Well, I can't say that I have looped any organ music.   My looping  
work is with electronic instruments -- synthesizers and theremin.

The discussion here about rhythm -- to play ahead of and behind the  
beat -- suggests that this rhythmic push/pull imparts "life" to the  
music the same as harmonic tension/resolution.   One notices that  
there must be a beat: "the reference beat" around which to play.  A  
click track, other musicians, or one's own internal clock may provide  
the reference beat.  So, a drummer that doesn't like click tracks is  
well... a little suspect!  Hopefully his preference is not to LISTEN  
to a click track though one hopes that he could stay in tempo with one  

Whether I listen to a click track or not, I find it necessary to have  
some kind of "reference" -- an internal click track -- so that my  
performance will have energy.

To make music with loops forces the rhythmic issue to the fore. Even  
if the music is non-percussive, one must play with precision to avoid  
"slop" and, at the same time, play with enough flexibility to impart  
life and emotion to the music.  As does consonance and dissonance, the  
ebb and flow of "on" and "off" beat rhythm imparts warmth, humanness,  
and energy to the music.

-- Kevin
-- Kevin