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The Historic and Aesthetic Origins of Live Looping

Maybe it's cutting to fine a distinction, but because of our own involvement with live looping, Terry Riley's work with the Time Lag Accumulator technique is a lot more interesting to me as an historic origin of our movement than Stockhausen's use of tape delay in the formation of Musique Concrete.

Because tape delays' extension to the dedicated creation of long tape loops with the Time Lag Accumlator is analagous to digital delays extension to create the first dedicated digital loopers, we can say that Terry Riley (with the assistance of his mysterious french audio engineer) is the Birth of our Movement.

Anyway, I find the early tape history and all of Stockhausens' work very interesting but it's Riley's work
that I relate to and resonate with aesthetically, as a starting point.

The creation of Matthias Grob's Paradis Loop Delay (1993? 1994?) is also a spiritual starting point for me, personally and aesthetically because it was the first piece of 'kit' that was invented specifically to create looping music in a contolled (and for me, rhythmic way) as opposed to jerry-rigging a couple of tape decks to achieve a recorded loop as Riley and the French mystery engineer did.

Does anyone else resonate with these distinctions about our aesthetic and historical origins?

Rick Walker

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