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Re: music

Pete writes-

>Torn can do it.  During the Polytown sessions, he would
>pull schitt out that had everyone in the control room
>laughing themselves silly.  And he knew it.  And i think
>he may have even been aiming for that.  Or maybe he was
>just trying to crack himself up.
>Suggestions on how to bring humor (even the nervous kind)
>into the loop? 

(Hi Pete, hope your well. Shout at me some time, ok?)

There are a number of ways to inject humor into a piece. Zappa had a whole
chapter of his autobiography dedicated to it. Torn is indeed a master, and
one of the things I've picked up from him and begun to use more frequently
are other elements than your primary instrument. For example, currently
running on a loop in the studio is a bundt pan, sampled in jamman 1, played
backwards through a coupla different thingies and looped. Vox are great,
both as a harmonic/melodic source, or as ambient sound sources. One thing
torn was doing during the "tripping" tour was playing a micro cassette (of
Mick Karn's grilfriend reciting some off-beat poetry) through his pickups.
The effect was staggeringly cool, and quite amusing. I did this during
rehearsal with my trio two weeks ago, this time with a micro casstte of my
4-year-old son singing "chip and dale rescue rangers". Tears were flowing,
I can tell you. Other kinds of things can be done with modulating delays,
especially with a powerful processor like the PCM 80. When the box was
almost finsihed, we were working on presets and my (former) office mate and
I were playing with the delays and came up with a program that sounded like
you were walking through a las vegas hotel lobby. It was hysterical. It
didn't land as a preset, though. Not very useful on a daily basis...

What am I listening to? Currently I'm only listening to the projects I'm in
the middle of trying to finish: the new Michael Manring CD (due early next
year, and features some v.cool loopage from the bass meister) and a very
cool ambient record by a new artist named William Camire (w/loopage by jd
and violin by Caryn Lin). But I did make some time to listen to a coupla
tapes from some regular contributors to the list, Andre LaFosse and Olivier
Malhomme. Both very good work, very creative and unusual. I hope I'll get
more time with them in a few weeks when things calm down here.

jon durant