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A Post Loopsatock Debriefing (One Perspective)

Hello Hans, Loopstock veterans and any one else!

My wife and I got home to Oregon safely last evening 
after our 10-hour drive up I-5. I just thought I'd take 
this opportunity to publicly say "thanks" for all of your
work and effort in making Loopstock the success that 
it was. As for me, I definitely enjoyed myself (and so did 
Kay, my better half who normally merely "endures" these 
kinds of things). My sense is that a good time was had by 
all and not even the occasional self-inflicted "technical 
difficulty" dampened the good spirits that were shared 
generally by all. You really pulled it off. Great job! I bet 
you really slept well on Sunday though. :-) Unfortunately 
I needed to get up and get ready to drive north immediately
after a quick Denny's breakfast. Zzzzzzzz. I could still
use a few more winks.

My only real regrets stem from not having seen or heard 
any of Rick Walker's set (Dr. Bob and I were setting up) and 
totally missing Tom Heasley's as well (we were tearing down)
plus having been compelled by a sleepy spouse into leaving
the premises early before YOUR set was entirely over
(I think I heard most of it, however). Sigh! Oh well. As I am 
given to understand that there were both audio and video 
recordings made of the day's proceedings I still hold out 
hope that I may still get to hear/see something of the 
portions that I missed. Please keep us posted as to the
availability such recordings. You know my addresses.
Dr. Bob's e-mail is: waveski@sbcglobal.net I've advised him 
to subscribe to the list. I also regret not having the 
opportunity to say "thanks" (and "good-bye") in person to a
whole lot of folks who were still there when my wife drug 
me by the elbow to the truck. Dang! Oh well . . .

Everyone had something different to offer and (I think)
they succeeded on a variety of levels . . . well . . . I'm not 
entirely sure of my own set though I know Dr. Bob 
played pretty darn well. It may seem pretty presumptuous 
of me to do so, but I'm going to try to present my "scan" 
of Loopstock to the community at large. As far as I am 
able, I'm going to schlogg through set by set as much as 
I can (but I missed a bit at the end before, during and 
after my own set). I have the time on my hands to do this
because I'm self-employed 24/7 (and that makes me my 
own boss). This ain't definitive -- obviously -- other, better
writers can fill-in and expand or even contradict what's here. 
So . . . here goes nuthin'.

2:00-2:30  Setup and socialize

Mike, Mark, Max, Bill, Rick, Richard, Manny Moe and Jack . . . ?
It was great to get to meet you guys and finally put names
with some faces. I really hope we can do this again. I have
a notoriously faulty memory. I am constantly having to make
excuses for my Teflon(TM) brain -- nothing sticks. So meeting
repeatedly will definitely help. It'll especially be a little easier 
to remember the ones who played. But it was also a gas 
to meet several loopsters who simply came as listeners.
So . . . lets do this again okay? Then I (and poor souls 
like me) will remember those names even better.

2:40-3:10  Stanitarium (Stan Card)

Being a big fan of the Mermen I couldn't help but appreciate
Stan Card's heavy surf riffing. He played with a lot of energy 
and an authority I wish I could muster more consistently 
myself. As an extra added surprise Merman guitarist/
frontman Jim Thomas was there as Stan's support crew. 
Stan was also one of the few who seemed NOT to suffer 
from tech difficulties. Way to hang Stan! He was an excellent 
choice to kick off the day's proceedings. Great set! It was 
also comforting to see someone who is "older" (like myself) 
who could still rock out!

3:20-3:50  Steven Rice

I think Steven was absolutely and without a doubt the very 
bravest one of us. Although he did have some technical 
difficulties, he built up his loops from absolute scratch 
"in front of God and the whole congregation" with a fairly 
bare-bones loop set up and similarly spare instrumentation . . . 
frame/hand-drums, shakers, flutes, multiple digeridoos. etc. 
It took a while for this "building" to take place from a rather 
naked sounding start, but once it got there it was quite 
fascinating to hear chords played by choirs of digeridoos 
over beds of percolating "world" percussion.

4:00-4:30  Mark Hamburg

Mark, I want your guitar! Mark Hamburg is an amazingly 
cool and smooth guitarist coaxing multilayered clouds 
of ambient(ish) licks from his Klein electric and dexterously 
ornamenting them with either fluid arpeggios or occasional 
sonic shards. I don't recall what looper(s) he was using, 
but he seemed to be using it/them a lot . . . building up 
quite a mass of sound. Very creative, sophisticated and 
inventive stuff it was too.

4:40-5:10  Sleeping (Mark Sottilaro, Valerie Hilligan & Katrin Schenk)

Ah . . . let the party begin! Another guitarist named Mark 
but this one couldn't be more obviously different. Flanked 
by Valerie and Katrin on keys and Chapman stick (I don't 
remember which was which, ladies, sorry) and armed with 
a white mutant Steinberg guitar, loopers, miscellaneous 
groove-boxes, filters, delays, other processors (plus reflex 
blue hair, natch) Mark and company (AKA, Sleep) kicked out 
some lively techno jams. Mark's a distinctive guitarist too 
and I was impressed with the sounds he was getting from 
his Roland equipped rig. Sleep also should get some sort 
of award for "Most Convoluted Cable Array" and for the 
fact that Mark seemed to be constantly re-patching things 
manually during the proceedings to get ever more perverse 
new combinations of FX.

5:20-5:50  Jon Wagner
6:00-6:30  Matthias Grob

I'm gonna talk about these guys together because their 
sets overlapped so much. First I wanna say Jon's a 
fantastic drummer/percussionist. My skinman, Dr. Bob, 
is new to looping and was on the stairs behind the whole 
time checking out your every move. Who would have 
imagined a few years ago that looping technology could 
allow a percussionist to build up such brilliant, complex 
and (most importantly) "human" sounding rhythms without 
it sounding machine-made. Not I. Wow! I'm really glad Bob 
got to check your set out from the vantage point 
he did. I'm sure he learned a lot. Jon played for several 
minutes and then invited Matthias (and eventually Rick 
Walker too) to join him. As for Matthias Grob, who doesn't 
know about the inventor of the Paradise Loop Delay . . . 
which eventually became the EDP that many of us now know 
and love (if we own one) or dream about (if we don't)? I'd 
have expected him to be a pretty decent musician but I 
never would have expected someone I'd figured to be 
some sort of an "electronic engineer" (a nerd perhaps . . . 
you can never tell about impressions on the web) to be 
such a brilliant and deep musician. Holy cow! And he don't 
look like no "nerd" either. I am humbled and ashamed of 
the preconceptions I'd had. Matthias is as great of a 
guitarist as he is a looper developer/inventor. He plays a 
guitar of his own design as well . . . and looks like someone 
who has perhaps time-travelled forward and backward from 
the San Francisco in '60s on more than one occasion.

6:30-7:00  Break

Whist my wife was off with some local SLO friends enjoying
the sort of Mexican food we don't get too much of up in
Medford, Oregon I stayed behind and tried to digest the 
afternoon's proceedings, meet a few folk and listen in to 
"shop talk" between the likes of Kim Flint, Matthias, Richard 
Zvonar and others. I met "Larry the O" who writes the 
back-page editorial piece in EM magazine and chatted with 
a fellow looper, Joe Cavaleri, who went to the same 
elementary school as I did (and we were only one year 
apart). Imagine that! We watched and occasionally tried to 
help Hans make further equipment adjustments and changes 
to the venue and wondered what would happen next . . .

7:00-7:30  Rich Atkinson & Cliff Novey 

Take two looping guitarists with a bent for "alternative" 
crunchy atmospherics, an artful video projection and a 
prerecorded backing track of percussion and other loopstuff 
which they playfully dubbed "looper karaoke," shake it in a 
bag and you may get something of what this was like . . . a 
little. From what I understand, it is merely a part of a larger 
multimedia presentation that is eventually to include dancers 
and (?) more. I really liked these guys. Nice energy, textures 
and transitions. They never lingered in any one place too long 
(something I know that I'm guilty of) and had an over-all 
richness of sound that was very, very, very cool in every 
detail. Did I only say "very" 3 times? I meant 333 times.

7:40-8:10  Max Valentino

Max is a bassist who (via loops created on the fly) can sound 
like the better half of a whole band, sans drummer . . . and
with a little slapping, spanking and scraping on the strings 
he can even cover that base (pun intended) too when required. 
Plagued with a few tech difficulties at first, he performed
so beautifully well that it made me forget all about it once 
the music was going. I don't know what looper he used and
at least one of his basses looked (and sounded) like it was a 
"semi acoustic" fretless (?) of some sort. Very groovalicious 
in a jazzy sort of way. I'm looking forward to listening to the 
CD he traded me for.

8:20-8:50  Dr. Richard Zvonar

Sitting at a table of equipment with a fluorescent desk lamp . . .
and looking a bit like a character from the movie "Contact" 
dialing in alien transmissions from "out there" somewhere. 
Richard Z. processed a variety of material from a number 
of prerecorded CDs through at least 3 Eventides (and who 
knows what else). Starting with electronic sounding static-like 
noises and proceeding through snippets of recorded narrative 
that sounded much like self-help recordings or those "paid 
advertisement" shows on TV . . . then on through the "Simpsons" 
theme music and other cultural ephemera, he reveals the "aliens"
he's tuning into . . . eventually . . . to be we (us?) ourselves.
I eat this stuff up, but my wife generally hates it. But here, for 
the first time ever at a performance of "electronic new music" 
I saw her sit with smiling and absolutely rapt attention. Need I 
say more. Dr. Zvonar sliced and diced and scrambled all of these
sounds on the fly using only knobs, buttons and the fastest s
et of fingers since I last saw John McLaughlin. Bravo! Got a CD?

9:00-9:30  Rick Walker's Loop.pooL

I missed this. Damn! My wife said it was great. It reminded 
her of Laurie Anderson a little somehow (don't ask me why). 
Rick you gotta send me a CD! I heard snatches of your set 
from time to time as I was setting up on the other end 
of the room but my concentration was really elsewhere. 

9:40-10:10  Ted Killian w/ Dr. Bob Sterling

This may sound a little hard to believe but I honestly have 
NO IDEA of how well (or ill) I played. I know Bob acquitted 
himself well and he says he enjoyed it terrifically. Many 
of you also said some very nice things too. But I was in 
"autonomic" mode and playing much like the way that a 
cockroach runs (they say that you can remove a roach's 
head and it will still run all over the place). As for apologetics, 
since so many other performers were featuring various other 
flavors of mostly softer (if not to say "ambient") things 
-- and doing it so darned well at it -- I figured I'd better 
produce some "contrast" or nobody will ever remember me. 
We had some tech difficulties that made for a lousy start . . . 
and some significant ongoing other I was to discover mid-play
(a critical nonfunctioning EV-5 and a miss-stepped EDP switch) 
as things proceeded that hopefully nobody but me ever noticed. 
Oh well. My wife says I looked for all of the world like Captain 
Kangaroo playing acid rock. Jeeeze. What an image!

10:20-10:50  Tom Heasley

Double damn! I missed this one too. Somebody send me a CD/DVD!
Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn! Even my curses are looping.

11:00-11:30  Bill Walker

Bill and Rick are both very creative guys (from direct evidence 
and by all accounts) and it's pretty obviously got something to do
with genetics (since they are brothers). Man! Bill got some really
blissful tones from a variety of axes, baritone and regular Strats 
(many apologies for the guitarspeak here) and looped and processed 
the bejeezus out of them. Can I be YOU when I grow up? Well, maybe 
if I were (at least) 30 years younger and could start all over . . . 
and had a modicum of talent. I am really impressed and inspired 
by what you did with the slide on lap-steel too. Perhaps I'll 
re-approach my own folkie roots (I was once a Leo Kottke/Ry 
Cooder imitator of sorts . . . mostly inferior sorts though). 
Anywho, your set was great! Put out a CD and I'll be one of 
the first to buy one.

11:40-12:10  armatronix (Hans Lindauer & Daniel Seymour)

I don't remember seeing the Mayflower moving van outside at any
time during the day but that's what it must have taken these guys 
to get their rig to the gig . . . that or a semi with a goose-neck trailer.
And, what's even more amazing, these 2 guys (yes just 2) used it all!. 
Very hip techno "party music" to give closure to a wonderful day. 
Not only do I wish I'd been able to stick around for every last minute 
of you set I would have liked to have had a day or two to pick your 
brains about how you used all o' that stuff too (and to identify the 
half of it I couldn't quite place). My apologies for allowing my wife to 
talk me into ducking out early. I am a dweeb and a doofus too.

Hans, this was one special event. Kudus to you for all of the "sweat 
equity" you put into it. It was inspiring, entertaining and educational 
and one major fat piece of fun all day long. There were little tech 
problems, slight schedule shifts and delays, but everything went 
so smoothly on an organizational level one would think (from 
appearances) that you do these things all of the time. The sound 
system was great too! My hat's off to you!

Please keep us all posted as to whatever recorded documents 
become available within the group. 


Ted Killian