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Re: another survey (wasRe: OT, but getting close to not-OT: guitar/sax improv sessions)

On 6 okt 2007, at 14.46, Paul Mimlitsch wrote:

> 1) how many people on the list do solo non looping gigs?

Sometimes. Not very often though, since there isn't any natural forum  
for solo concerts. I've mostly played non looping solo concerts for  
art exhibitions. One time I used a sax and walked around among the  
visitors while playing, making a point of the different acoustics of  
the different halls.

> 2) "the beauty of the single note line" - how many guitar players/  
> players of multitimbral instruments can do an improv. gig using  
> only single note lines and hold an audiences attention? for how long?

I don't see that this would be more difficult on a polyphonic  
instrument compared to a monophonic? "The beauty of a single note  
line" does not reside in what you play but what you do not play, but  
rather create the set-up for the listener to fill in by his/her  
imagination. To play that way you need to hear and react to not only  
the sound of a single note but also its attitude and suggested  
directions by that note. Non-musicians hear this easily, but somehow  
many players don't bother with this in my humble opinion most  
important aspect of playing music.

> 3) if you're not comfortable doing this, is that because of  
> preference (ie: vertical vs. linear hearing)?

When I was a child I sometimes hid under a grand piano and  
experienced some vertical hearing ;-)) In other words; "I'm sorry, I  
can't understand this question".  ;-)

> Being raised on a particular instrument?

No. Of course one instrument was the first I learned, but I wouldn't  
call that "being raised" on it.

> Or did you gravitate towards your preferred instrument due to how  
> you hear things?

No. I gravitate towards new instruments when I get too bored with the  
instruments I already use. Today there's not much such boredom  
though, since I have learned at least four different instruments well  
enough to play rather freely. So I can always move on to another one  
when in need for wider perspectives.

> 4) if you play a mono timbral instrument (horns etc) is the desire  
> to "loop" a means of filling up vertical space to compliment your  
> single note line play?

Hmm... when you say "vertically", do you mean instantly sounding? (as  
in a orchestra score?) Well, never mind. The answer to this question  
is "no". I look at loopers more as a way to extend the instrument.  
Kind of the same urge that forces me to trim vibrato bars, modify  
mouth-piece sound chambers, knock away frets, program synth sounds  
etc etc. Even when playing polyphonic instruments, as the guitar, I  
like doing monophonic melody lines. And, as said above, what I like  
is not what is heard but the open horizon it brings. The harmonies  
and chord sequences implied but not explicitly played. I think Luis  
Armstrong was quite early in doing this in his singing, "scatting" a  
short phrase after the actual lyric line just to give a clue for a  

On 6 okt 2007, at 16.49, Paul Mimlitsch wrote:
> I've always wondered why someone chooses a particular instrument as  
> their "voice"

My "musical voice" is something I have been aware of since I was  
three and a half years old, long before starting to play music. It's  
not directly about "sound" or any certain instrument. Music has  
simply become the most efficient way for me to explore this area.  
When I hear certain instruments I can tell if it would be a proper  
expression for me, and then I learn to play it to match my "musical  

>  Another question I should have asked in my original post was:  How  
> many people have switched instruments to meet their needs.

No instrument is perfect, but humans are extremely multi faceted  
beings. Switching is just a way to get along a little better. When  
playing in bands I have of course picked up whatever instrument  
needed for the collective project. I guess that's means the answer  
"yes and no" (switching seriously just for fun but sometimes also  
because a band situation needs it).

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
www.boysen.se (Swedish)
www.looproom.com (international)