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Re: Expectations, artifice, and a hell of a can of worms

At 10:04 AM 12/31/01 EST, dt wrote:
>esp. as i haven't 
>*played* too many live-gigs, this past year..... (which, btw, i may change

Keep us posted!

>>David: Would you say that some of the feedback to the Splattercell
>>material has impacted your feelings regarding the percieved resistance
>>to challenge or surprise?  I'm thinking specifically of fusion and prog
>>fans who might have been expecting another "David Torn album of burning
>>guitar playing"?
>maybe just a little bit; though, to be fair, i did expect some of that 
>type-of-reaction from 'established fans'.....

Something that occurred to me when I read dt's response to Max was that
it's not exactly a level playing field here. Most of the
comments/perspectives offered in this thread have been either from
less-recognised loopers who're trying to bring their music to a larger
audience, or from more established musicians *not* known for looping who're
trying to incorporate looping into their oeuvre. In either case, there's
the element of unfamiliarity: an audience responding (or not) to a new face
or perceiving a change in direction/philosophy/taste from someone they
*thought* they knew. OTOH, someone like David Torn is much more of a known
quantity, not in the sense that the *music* will be at all predictable, but
due to the fact that he's built his reputation specifically on being a
sonic adventurer, a crosser of stylistic boundaries and a consummate
improvisor. DT's audience has learned to expect the unexpected; and as
such, audience responses will naturally be very different than they would
be for those of someone less associated with innovative genre-busting. Of
course, it's taken him years of work to establish such a reputation, and it
still doesn't guarantee immunity from people saying things like "Oh, why
can't he do more stuff like 'Cloud About Mercury'?" (or Polytown or fill in
the blank...), but chances are, someone who goes to a Torn performance (or
purchases a recording, for that matter) has a pretty good idea of what
they're in for. I found myself in agreement with BOTH Max's and DT's
perspectives, as opposite as they may have seemed.

>>Max says:
>>> >By "walking the audience" thru the whole looping process, you somehow
>>> >involve them in what is happening, and at that point...you have 'em!
>>DT says:
>>> i'm always hoping for some  kind of ineffable transformation to take
>>place in
>>> the process of performance, both for me and for the audience..... at
>>> something more subtle than what might otherwise occur as a result of
>>> addition of whatall might be construed as a 'lecture'.....

Like Miko, I'd have to side with DT and Frank Gerace on that one, although
I can think of two specific exceptions: 1) I saw Adrian Belew right after
he got his first EH-16 (early 80's 'Twang Bar King' tour), and he was so
enthused about the thing, he gave an impromptu demonstration of what it
could do, overtly building and reversing a loop, and then incorporating it
into the next tune. and 2) a performance by Belgium's Logos Duo
<http://www.logosfoundation.org/logosduo.html> at last summer's Ought-1
festival which featured an instrument so unique that a
demonstration/lecture approach was immently suitable and didn't seem at all
didactic. (It was a large pyramid-shaped sensor array thing that responded
to body movements; unlike a theremin it wasn't position-sensitive, but
rather, velocity sensitive, and the performers were positioned *inside* the
field. Without some sort of explanation it would have gone right over our
heads, but the presentation was fascinating, both informative and

>..... and i just finished my second dbl-espresso of the day.....