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RE: musicality vs. gear quality (was Re: loop mud)

--- "Liebig, Steuart A." <Steuart.Liebig@maritz.com> wrote:

> this issue is always gonna create some friction.
> i think the problem is that one person's "musicality" can be another
> person's "lame-ass crap." 

Music is inherently subjective. To one person John Zorn was a brilliant
artist, to another, he just made noise.

Added to the subjectivity the fact that many of us in the looping
community are doing "music" that's not too conventional and we're
probably always open to the criticism that what we do "just isn't
music". To the person who's grid only contains the verse-chorus-bridge
pop song, virtually everything I attempt to do would be "crap" or
"background noise".
> someone can think that he/she is exploring interesting new sonic
> frontiers
> or methods of musical creation and another will think that it's just
> mindless wanking. 

I totally agree.

> also, my reading of the initial post leads me to feel that there are
> two contradictory wishes: one is that evan wants people to really 
> "delve" into
> the gear in a "meaningful way," two is that he felt bummed when he
> saw people "twiddling knobs" - - which sounds a lot like people 
> delving into
> their gear and "playing it like an instrument." maybe they are doing
> it, but the results don't work for you (?).

That's what it sounds like to me.

As far as where I land on the "gear vs music" scale. My approach to my
personal music is almost entirely intuitive. I use gear to give me
inspiring sounds and textures and to provide me a background to further
inspire further improvisation. So, to a person who prefers a fixed
compositional approach or a pop song approach, what I do may not be

I feed off of playing to other sounds, so having a background is
important to keep me from playing the "same old things". I like playing
with other musicians, but it's hard collecting the right people to do
something unorthadox, and they aren't often available to fit in my busy
schedule. So, in the absense of like-minded musicians who happen to be
at my house whenever I happen to have a spare hour or so (usually
unplanned), a Repeater gives me the opportunity to do something I enjoy
and to create something I wouldn't have if I hadn't had something to
play over. 

I don't buy gear to "have gear", it's not a status symbol to me. Other
then the Repeater, my entire looping guitar rig was thrown together out
of stuff I had laying around and things friends gave me. I'm in the
process of refining the gear I'm using based on what I've learned about
what I like and what inspires me.

I can't objectively say whether what I do is "good music" or not. Based
on Evan's comments, it sounds like what I do probably wouldn't be very
interesting to him. That's ok. I got into this with the clear
understanding that what I'm doing wouldn't have a wide audience. This
allows me the freedom to make whatever music/noise that I make without
worrying about what anyone else thinks of it. I believe in my heart
that if I like it, then there are probably other people out there
somewhere who would also like it, but I don't have any expectation that
most people would. So far, this has proven to be a true acessment of
the situation. Of the people I've played my music for (other
musicians), most have been fairly uninterested, but one of my friends
was VERY excieted about it. He even wanted to get involved. 

I truly love doing it, and that's what's most important to me right
now. If it can appeal to someone else on the same level, it's all the
more wonderful. At some point, I will probably seek an audience (in
Robert Fripp's words "subject myself to public ridicule" <grin>), but
for now, I'm content to make noises in my basement.


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