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PS: people's perceptions
I received this charming note from a friend of mine about my recent piece, http://warrensirota.com/solostuff/y2k9sAcomin.mp3
:Well done Warren - It's rather hard to imagine how you did that and especially how you did it so smoothly.
I liked the over all grove but didn't like what the guitar sound morphed into. The only guitar sound I liked was the very opening. Much of the rest of it sounded like electronic problems (coming from bad instrument cords or bad connections) that I have had to try and figure out how to remedy during recording or live sound.
And to be perfectly honest, this did not make me feel good - but that is probably just a reflection of musical taste - you are into experimental music, I am not. I guess it's just a reflection of being an old person now, but, I do tend to be drawn to music that is soothing or beautiful to me, music is really about being transported to some place I want to go and I didn't want to go where Y2K9 took me. But, don't worry, I am not a just totally into musical pap - smooth jazz (with some exceptions) doesn't really do it for me very much either. But there is no question about it - there are, no doubt, a lot of people (younger, I would guess) who would really dig this.
Have fun at the looper festival. I'm sure that looping works as well as learning a new foreign language in staving off dementia.
My answer:Interesting comments.
Thanks for listening despite your lack of connection with the style.
It's true that in this dimension of my playing I am getting into
grittier and grittier guitar sounds. I really think of what I'm doing
as a progression of textures, and I tend to judge the music, for
myself, on the basis of "does the pacing serve to focus my attention
on the textures without boring me" and "how do the moments of the
piece flow into one another - whether smoothly or dramatically, are
the transitions competent and interesting?" For me, this piece rates
pretty high on those measures, and I would say that it's the most
compelling continuous unedited narrative that I've come up with in a
long time (the other pieces that you've heard recently had at least
some slicing and dicing involved). It gives me hope that my live
performance at the festival will be better than ever.
It's not that I won't be making "beautiful" looping music - but I
start each piece with a concept of the palette of sounds I might use
and the tech tricks I might play to keep the loop evolving. Some
palettes seem more, uh... "tasteful" than others, but it's just a
question of the mood of the moment for me. And which guitar I pick up.
I haven't had any feedback other than you from the dozen or so people
I sent this out to - I wouldn't be too surprised if many feel like
you. On the loopers' list, reactions are more enthusiastic. When I
play for/with a younger set, reactions are also enthusiastic. But,
while I enjoy this and am most certainly an attention slut, I long ago
found that individuals' reactions to a piece of music, positive or
negative, rarely have much relationship to how I conceive or rate it
OTOH, I find myself utterly unable to sit and watch a traditional jazz
group anymore without being completely numbed. Head, sax solo, piano
solo, bass solo, drum solo, head, repeat until exhausted. If there are
vocals involved, it's usually a different story. The very concept of
soloing just seems - I don't know, misguided or something - to me at
So I guess you don't want to come down to Santa Cruz and hang out at
the looping festival :-)
Anyway, I guess we have to agree to disagree on this one. Thanks for
your honest reactions. Maybe you'll like the next one better.