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Re: Yuppies and Loops

Rev. Doubt-Goat <dgoat@rocketmail.com> put forth:

>To give an idea of the setting for last nights
>gig, NW 23rd in Portland, OR is yuppie central.
>It's a shopping district, full of little fru-fru
>shops and restraunts. Starbucks is a chain
>coffee house and suffers from the sterile
>interior of all such chains.

The above were of course knowns going into this... I'm curious about the 
sounds might bounce off of the kind of wood they've got at the Starbucks'
actually.  Did you encounter a lot of natural reverb from the setting, or
was it muffled instead by the multiple nooks the place might have?

>!ping! ...
[clapping]  I myself have identified more with Douglas Adams' "Teaser"
actually, in terms of the mysterious "beep-beep" noises and such. :)

>Have them
>play strange drones and dissonant loops,

Well, this could be a beginning to why il multo emptio, that is, if you
think it was semi-inaccessible to them, how far perhaps was the material
from where they could have 'gotten it'?  Sometimes peppering strangeness 
dissonance with familiarity can keep even people like that curious, and
therefore still there.  On the other hand, if you feel that modifying the
existing material you have would be a serious compromise of your work, what
about the sheer subversiveness of taking an otherwise-familiar song (well,
not too familiar) and peppering THAT with strangeness and dissonance.  Sort
of like Bobby Goldsboro's "That's My Boy" meets "Psycho", you know?  Well,
just an idea.

>interspersed with pop songs influenced by the
>likes of Bill Nelson and King Crimson

Which ones?  You know, it's funny how Bill Nelson and KC go together, 
I was initially attracted to BeBop Deluxe before I was what you'd call a
serious Fripp devotee.  [looking round for flying vegetables]

>1. Is it possible to play in a non-club setting
>with a mixture of ambient, illbient and pop and
>have an audience that will understand?

Yes, there ARE places that do this.  Some of them, I suspect, are even
after-hours clubs, depending on the nature of the Town You're In Right Now.
There used to be a used clothes store down in Venice CA named Mama 
that hosted a mostly folk, but also other styles, showcase for some years.
I'd originally targeted them for a good place to play (though I doubt
there's much cash in it frankly).

Personally, I'm about to foist myself and work on the Internet Cafe market.
I still feel like it's unorganized enough to be interesting, though still
perhaps necessary to pass the hat, unless everyone just loves the crap out
of you, in which case it's no longer just coffeehouses anymore, is it?

>2. Does the music listening public really only
>want to hear remakes of what they are used to?
>I play in a standards jazz band as well, and I
>know we would have had an audience in the same

I would say that the expectations of people expecting to hear Jazz, 
improvisation of various blends, and such are by default going to be far
more eclectic and 'sophisticated' than the Music Listening Public.
Reflecting on something Fripp commented about after his last solo efforts 
public places, he said that, "in England you can't GIVE this music away".
So he still goes back to do these Small and Efficient Unit shows there.  Go

>3. To what extent should the setting determine
>the performers actions? i.e. is it appropriate
>to play chamber music in a rock club and
>noise/performance art in the opera house?

It's times like these that I regret the loss of thousands of mail messages
earlier this year.  One of them consisted of a thread of answers to
questions Fripp himself posted to the Elephant Talk newsletter, regarding
things like: "What is the responsibility of the performer?  of the audient?
What does the performer have a right to expect of the audience?  and vice
versa?"  Fascinating and mind-expanding stuff on the nature of performing,
IMHO - though probably findable via http://www.elephant-talk.com (where the
archives are).  Some of the responses are predictably Frippesque, but all
are illuminating nonetheless.

>4. To what extent should the audience reactions
>have an impact on what the performer performs?

See above, of course.  I expect that, unless they start heckling en masse,
or throwing non-soft or non-solid things at you, it's okay.  I think of it
on the level that, if the audience is known to be coming to See Me Play,
it's one thing.  On the other, if they just knew Some Music would be there,
and they're just there for the conversation and cafe, it would seem to me -
and this is ONLY my opinion - that it's my responsibility to play for the
OWNER, since he let you come in in the first place, on the basis that he
wanted you there in the first place.  If the owner has you there on the
strength of a recording/CD you gave him, make sure it's clear what you'll
actually be playing.  Even they don't like nasty surprises like, expecting
"Sunshine On My Shoulder", and getting "Heroin".

What I try to think about in this last regard, is that in those cases, I'm
there to enhance the atmosphere that already exists in the place.  As an
ambient musician I find an awful lot of places where self-control is the
rule, lest I both get the audiences' attention in a bad way, with nothing
'better' to take them to after (no reward, I suppose), sort of like Michael
J. Fox's onstage guitar routine (the one at the end) in Back To The Future.
And there's this big frigging silence.  And someone coughs or something.
Only for comic relief should one do such a thing.  Or revenge, if you're
into that kind of business. :)

>5. What are the roles of the performer and
>audience? Should there even *be* roles?

In the spirit of IBM manuals, See #4, which points to #3.

Stephen Goodman  * It's... The Loop Of The Week!
EarthLight Studios    * http://www.earthlight.net/Studios