For me looping begins with repurposed domestic tape recorders when people were throwing them out because of cassette machines. mid to late 1970s. My family had one, and people in the neighbourhood had them. Shitty overused and undermaintained machines and horrible microphones for sending voice letters to mum as a spool of tape. Recording over horribly overused tapes using worn capstans with variable speed. Hum and whitenoise and fadeout built-in and accepted as part of the mix because it was unavoidable. 1975-8. Getting a microphone cable snuck up the staircase to the living room where the largely untouched Gebr. Neindorf piano stood, and putting bolts between the strings, and thumping on it when everyone was out at work or the shops, then removing everything and running backj down the spiral staircase to listen to the results. Hearing the almost tidal decay in the sounds looping between the different tapes laid out in a circle. I had an old suitcase stuffed with pillows and the springs-in-a-frame from the base of a radio chair, and a radio with an aux in and a mike locked in there as part of the setup, and it would invariably fall over when the door closed upstairs. I did that all summer holidays when I could.
I remember there was one tape with James Last on it that had "theme from a summer holiday" on it, and where the splice was it wouldn't erase. So until that tape wore out there was a perioding injection and mutation of "laaaa, da dee da daaaaa " into it, gradually crinkle mutilated. I recorded that one with a cassette tape, long since lost. Paddy Leigh Fermour in "As I stepped out one morning" talks about the feeling of loss of a set of diaries returning periodically like an ache in the weather. Having unrealisable memories of those recordings aches in that way. But I wouldn't go back for a moment - now I turn up the crinkle setting on a timeline or the mod setting on my deja vu. No running involved!
Anyway - it couldn't be further from the Paradis Loop except in systems terms!
> Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2014 11:52:05 -0700
> From: email@example.com
> To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
> Subject: 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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