Looper's Delight Archive Top (Search)
Date Index
Thread Index
Author Index
Looper's Delight Home
Mailing List Info

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: A negative review for 2002 >> Biting the biscuit...

> Hi Miko!

Yo Ted!

>> I've lately become confused (mostly) by the lumping together of odd
coalitions and factions around the bay area (and California). We've got the
BA-NEWMUSE list members comprised of many Mills faculty and students, as
well as a variety of real-time free-improv types. We've got the pfMENTUM
crew with Jeff Kaiser, and his many friends such as Steuart Liebig and Nels
Cline ... While I dearly love many from each faction, it's sometimes hard 
know where I fit into it all as well...

> I'm a bit confused too. Jeff and I both sort of began our current musical
trajectories together in Southern California...ah...er... mumble mumble
umpty years ago. In fact, via a mutual friend of ours he sort of
"discovered" me and pushed me out into the spotlight (actually repeatedly,
'til I became comfortable doing it myself). I owe so much to Jeff and
consider him a great life-time friend. But I really don't totally fit into
his/their program either. I'm not a trained musician with multiple advanced
degrees like he is. I have no particular agenda, no artistic philosophy for
what I do. Nothing is particularly well thought out at all. What I play, 
I play and how I think about what I play really comes from a very, very
naive (not to say primitive) place. I really find myself out of my depth in
such company. My only option is to resolutely be "me" 
and to try not to talk about it too much if I can. I AM relatively well
educated, but my family background is very blue collar and very decidedly
anti-intellectual. Maybe this is the source if my own internal conflict and
confusion to some degree.

I somehow managed to avoid college myself, and travelled about playing folk
music, then reacting against it, and playing lunar space music. Total
pendulum movements from one extreme to the other.

I've learned a great deal about Jeff from Stig, and benefitted much from
Stig's encouragement as well. Those pfMentum guys are gosh-darn nice guys!
(Not to mention being one of Nels biggest fans! I'm so stoked there's
someone throwing *that much* at the wall and managing to make it stick! I'm
actually really grateful... )

> ...... The tracks on my CD that actually have any sort of rhythmic
"groove" were not intended for release. The CD was recorded during two
4-hour recording sessions on two consecutive days. I sort of get the
"jitters" in a recording situation (more so than on stage). And the 
in question were meant to be warm-up exercises in order to get the fingers
working and have a little musical "fun" in the process ... to loosen up in
other words (and to exorcise any rock guitar cliche's from the system while
I was at it). Well, these things got recorded anyway. And Jeff, who is one
of those folks who seems to conspicuously avoid rhythm and melody at almost
all costs, is the one who insisted on including them on the CD. Go figure.
It goes to show that you just never know.

Thank goodness for producers?! I sometimes think that maybe they pick stuff
they would like to have released, but HAD THE SENSE NOT TO! *-/ (Really...
just joking here... I'm sure Jeff picked his faves!) It IS great to have
someone to oversee things.

> Well, I began my own musical life as sort of an eccentric, electric Leo
Kottke wannabe if you can believe it. That's still the sort of thing I play
around the wife and kids at home (the technical fallout of which is that I
still play with metal fingerpicks and bizarre tunings -- even when I'm 
Mr. Avant Noismaker).

Good grief! We ARE very much alike... I'm a total closet folk junkie... I
know piles of Martin Carthy stuff (correct tunings etc.) Nick Drake... I've
written my share in this genre as well. Someday I'll find a way to 
it with my space/chaos musical self and merge it together into something
sublime... (One can hope?)

> I love all sorts of music and listen to a wide variety of things. But I
don't (or can't) play a good deal of what I like. I have a special, strange
fondness for old Herb Alpert and the TJB tunes. I can play spazzed-out
covers of a couple of their hits. But, you won't catch me playing them
around the pfMentum gang (to be sure) -- or much of anybody else for that
matter. Talk about offending EVERYBODY? Indeed! That would just about do 

I sometimes believe that I'm doomed to actually really have to include all
my various tangents into a crazy hodgepodge... In fact, that might be where
the real art lies? Just being honest and disciplined enough to make sure
*nothing* gets left out... (Including the zany Herb Alpert and Persuasive
Percussion stuff.)

>> If I decided to apply to Mills, UCSD, Cal Arts, CCAC, CNMAT or Stanford
myself, would I magically discontinue quoting these genres and become
something new-fangled? I believe I'd still want to find some juice in that
old bottle, and continue referencing... (probably at further expense to my

> Well, a lot of us mistakenly go into Art school thinking we are going to
learn how to do what we already know and love in a better and better way.
What Arts education is actually all about involves the same end but they
typically acomplish it by forcing us out of our comfort zones and into new
and untried territories, new ways of seeing, hearing, thinking, being.
Whether this winds up molding everything you do forever after in their
image -- or merely coloring, shading and adding depth to it is our choice.

I'm probably just being a little resentful of the actual opportunities to 
that sort of stretching (which I have zero time for myself, with a family,
mortgage and... NO JOB!) My wife went to CCAC and we were up there in
Berkeley '92-'95 and I certainly understood what I had MISSED. So I'm 
to do it the cyber-way, with people like Stig and you and the 
community we have here at LD. I'm so grateful we're all here swapping stuff
so readily! It's truly amazing.

> ....... It's great to read what find out what folks are thinking and
wrestling with on a deeper level than "Hey I've got (or wanna get) this or
that piece of hardware/software. Can it do what I want it to do?" These
questions ARE important. But there are whole lotta other things that make 
who we are as musicians, loopers and human beings. And, you notice that I
mostly wrote about myself to. A friend of mine (it might have even been 
Kaiser) once told me that all Art is nothing more than children calling to
one another across a mud puddle and saying, "Hey everybody! Look at the mud
pie I made!"

I like that... I just want to throw some mud and have fun too!

>> Hey! And I also wanted to compliment you on your recent release somwhere
in all of this...

> Thanks! Do you have a mud pie... er...CD (or other music posted or
otherwise available out there in cyberspace)? I'd be interested in hearing
it. I'm often surprised that comparatively little music itself gets
exchanged or shared within the community of the LD list members (as far as 
ever hear about it anyway) other than the LD CDs and the odd
self-promotional message of confirmed egoists like myself.  Best, Ted

Well... several of us on the list initially created a 'Chain Tape' which
became a 4 cd set, and we formed the Chain Tape Collective. There's a whole
boatload of stuff we've compiled into 'themed' cds. I've got 3 or 5 tracks
hanging around in that pile, but truthfully, I've caved on pushing my own
freakin' "Lounge" project! It's at...

Life just keeps charging at me, with the job and all my other distractions.
(Not making excuses here... I also love to skateboard, and have resumed an
active slalom racing schedule embarrasingly enough! So life is full to the
brim and I'm just slower than most... )

> As the quoted person in question I'd probably say no, not primitivism,
just naivete. I'm still just a doofus who hasn't figgered anything out yet.
There is a certain sense of inadequacy and failure (if not shame) connected
to it -- like maybe I really should have some sort of grand, sophisticated
raison d'etre for what I'm doing by now (I'm 48 for gosh sakes) and I 
 I'm just doing it because it somehow satisfies some unnamable something in
me to do so...and that (in turn) drives me to do it again. The same impulse
seems to drive my visual artmaking as well. I do not have words for it. I
sure wish did. Best, Ted Killian