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RE: Loopers-Delight-d Digest V14 #174

Hi, sorry if I was obscure. My background is varied but does involve philosophy of time, though I haven't been near a philosophy department for 3 decades. The theoretical context is that of Fraser ("of time passion and knowledge") and to a lesser extent of Kubler ("The Shape of Time") and of Collingwood (pick a book!). But also it does involve a lot of work in librarianship and knowledge work (lots of ontologies for many purposes).

I don't know how much of this stuff is commonly discussed as I am not active in the community* , but it concerns the idea of time, and cycles of time, and our words for and conceptualisation of those cycles. In 1976 I was given a copy of "Persian Surgery Dervishes" and "Rainbow" the same week I found "Time Passion and Knowledge" remaindered in a bin at a long gone bookshop in Karrinyup Shopping Centre, and it seemed almost fore-ordained (I was 16, everything looks that way at that age). To quote from a later bit he wrote "The Art of the Audible "Now""** 
"I believe that explanations which focus on the flow of time, such as the one I represented, address significant but only secondary issues in the study of time in music. For, by taking the flow of musical time for granted, they fail to recognize and hence attempt to explain the fundamental rational mystery of music. Namely, by what means does music first establish the experience of time in the domain of hearing, so that it may then modulate and modify its flow? It is my thesis that music is unique among the arts because it can determine, define, an audible present with respect to which expectations and memories may be generated. Biological, noetic (that is, mental), and social processes are also capable of creating nows: the biotemporal, nootemporal, and sociotemporal presents. These, together, form the nested hierarchy which we usually mean by the unanalyzed concept of "now." Through articulated sound, music has something to say, as it were, to each member of that hierarchy"

The -chrony words in the lexicon were chose to explore the nature of looped music in terms of the repeated audible now.

At the time I was smitten with 3rd stream music - Lewis and Schuller - and in my mind I conceived of a possible "4th stream music" that used tape technology to make a hybrid of the classical and improvisatory traditions, and also incorporated the music of the north (to me) of Kecapi Suling and Gamelan, and Raga, and also the drone of the indigenous corroboree music of Australia. And Fraser's ideas seemed to give a framework for that.

I can expand on it, but I think that says it all. So the ontology and thesaurus I wrote out was a systematic attempt within that framework to get a term for everything I had observed within the 4th stream tradition (I still can't think of a better term, but it's looping and things that are like looping).

Performance-wise, I used to play the recorder (I made an electric tenor recorder by drilling out the fipple and silasticing a condensor mike - well, a friend did it for me) and using octave doublers and halvers with the reel-to-reel recorders that people were throwing out because they had discovered the cassette tape. I did all sorts of loop-things, including decay music and Heath-Robinson (Rube Goldberg for US people) setups of tapes going around and around. All on old valve-driven equipment, with the basement room filling up with the smell of warming dust, tyvek and solder.

I wanted to perfect the improvisation of canon in octave, and the art of hocket-based melody in voices. I tried multiple loop lengths and so forth, and I wanted to create a kind of live orchestration as well. Then along came Fripp and Eno doing something more interesting and clever and I got a job and I buried it for a while. And then Eno came up with "4th world". And a car accident unexpected neuralgia made me give up music. Then with the rise of digital looping I revisited it all and take up playing the kalimba and ukulele. I now almost exclusively play the Hohner guitaret and a couple of Nykalimbas constructed especially for me. I use a few different types of delay to contrast their nature - Boomerang, Headrush, Timeline, Echorec, Deja Vu - as well as my latest joy, a Logidy Epsi convolver.

So I set out to make something in passacaille, or rondino, or fugue and play it through that way. I also often make loops separately in the sense of turning off the playback live and then play the results (or play along with the results).

Additionally, I should say that I also involve field recordings - I love making the field recordings drive the impetus of the music-making, and a friend of mine curates and prepares matrices of sound (we call it Rokehan, which is a Japanese movie term for location hunting) wherein he makes imaginary landscapes - this is orchestration following Cage's (1937)  dictum: "Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating. The sound of a truck at 50 m.p.h. Static between the stations. Rain. We want to capture and control these sounds, to use them, not as sound effects, but as musical instruments." 

So - some instances of my live looping:
Me live-looping In C https://ivodnegalatea.bandcamp.com/album/the-art-guitaret-vol-iv-the-serendipitist-guitaret
Me playing multiple pass loops with the sound of two steam hammers driving in a pile driver https://ivodnegalatea.bandcamp.com/track/chasing-the-mountain-of-light
Me making a pavane based on the rhythm of a canoe being rowed https://ivodnegalatea.bandcamp.com/track/geometric-inequalities
Me making a passacaille based on an incredibly squeaky windmill: https://ivodnegalatea.bandcamp.com/track/many-mansions
Me doing a pasa doble to crickets and birds: https://ivodnegalatea.bandcamp.com/track/how-it-began
Me improvising an oratorio to crows! https://ivodnegalatea.bandcamp.com/track/impressions-that-remained
Me making a triple concerto for the voices of the mbira https://ivodnegalatea.bandcamp.com/track/the-serendipity-machine

So that's probably too much information, but I thought I should honour the length of Rick Walker's reply. (I should confess I have a playlist of Rick's music of the sound grabbed from some of his youtubes for listening to on the far too many occasions when I put in 30 hour days at work).

Also I should say I am pseudonymous, as the people I work for/with don't want my name turning up on google searches and having potential investors realise that my soul doesn't belong to the company. I hope you won't mind that. It's a condition of the employment that I very badly need.


*in fact to quote Kubler  "More lonely than ever, the artist today is like Dedalus, the strange artificer of wonderful and frightening surprises for his immediate circle." that's me
** (you can get it through JSTOR, here www.jstor.org.rp.nla.gov.au/stable/info/745887)

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2014 03:49:19 -0700
From: looppool@cruzio.com
To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
CC: Loopers-Delight-d-request@loopers-delight.com; Loopers-Delight-d@loopers-delight.com
Subject: Re: Loopers-Delight-d Digest V14 #174


Would you mind letting us know , specifically, what your intellectual and academic background is so that we can all better understand
the ways that you are using to describe your own experience of live looping music and, perhaps,  point us towards some material that will further clarify
what your particular paradigm is with regards to your very detailed analysis..

Just as importantly,   would you be willing to share with us, the music that you make using the live looping techniques you've described.