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RE: zen and the fluent music
Luis, you hit the nail on the head about being booked at the right
places. I don't know what it's like in bigger cities or other
countries, but here where I live finding a venue where I can play
remotely experimental music is a delicate matter. For instance, I played
in a world fusion band for a few years, where I played acoustic guitar
and sitar, and we played at this Mediterranean restaurant frequently. We
played a mixture of Indian, Middle-Eastern, African, or just "worldly"
fusion like tunes. They loved us and the place was always jam
packed...we even played outside, and we attracted people from 6 bocks
away. People just went bizarre over that music. When the group split up,
I decided to go back and play at the venue as a solo looper. I made the
mistake of trying some more experimental type looping music that didn't
have the recognizable melodies in Western, Middle-Eastern, or Eastern
music. They never asked me back. Yet four blocks away, I was playing
highly experimental looping music on a regular basis at a very
liberal-minded, vegetarian restaurant, where whatever I played, I was
always accepted with great admiration and compliments. I find that
most venues here, and the people that frequent them, just aren't that
open to really experimental music, and this doesn't surprise or
disappointed me necessarily (I accept it whole heartedly as a part of
the bell curve of listenability in a city with only 200K people and in a
very conservative state); rather it's just an added challenge for me to
find venues to play the music I want to play.
In my new promo pack and bio, I state that I frequently play venues that
are associated with the arts (like exhibits, galleries, art festivals)
or venues that foster diverse human discourse (like coffee shops, etc).
Those are the sort of venues that I find are more open to experimental
looping music lately. And even the coffee shops here are pushing it, as
they are frequented by a generally conservative crowd. I play at an
Italian restaurant a once a month, and occasionally I can slip in
something experimental, but I have to do so with some restraint and
caution. I've just learned how to read venue owners and crowds when it
comes to this more extreme form of music. I try a little bit, observe
the reaction, and then go one way or another, depending on the reaction.
Sometimes I might get a comments like "Well that was interesting" but
implicitly saying, "Now go back to playing that other nice stuff you
were playing before." But I don't expect to waltz into a traditional
restaurant and start looping atonal, non-rhythmic music with a ring
modulator and pitch shifter set at a minor second interval! Even though
this is the style of music I prefer to play most often.
The above is also why when I play a brand new venue, I always bring my
jazz Real books with me...then at least if I get into trouble or I'm
getting strange glares, I can play the standards, like Autumn Leaves,
Take the A Train, Days of Wine and Roses, etc. I've never found anyone
who objected to me playing traditional jazz. Or I find that noodling
around with open G, C, A, E, and D chords, with some "pretty" and
predictable improvised melodies is always a crowd pleaser
too...basically anything I can play in my sleep. :)
I would be curious to here from others, who live in bigger cities of at
least 500,000. How many public venues do you know of where you can play
really experimental music and be called back to play on a regular basis?
And I don't mean "experimental" in the sense of just improvising with
looping technology, playing in odd time signatures, or using
non-traditional instrument, but music that really pushes the limits of
popular listenability. Any Bay Area or New Yorkers want to comment?
Heck, I saw the circuit benders at Y2K4 last year...where are you guys
playing on a regular basis? And Matt Davignon's music is pretty far
out...he must be finding some recurring venues.
From: L. Angulo [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 3:48 AM
Subject: Re: zen and the fluent music
Well Kris thats great man,you are looping backwards;-) is usually the
other way around the more popular musicians get(or enter the
professional artistry)the more they make compromises!
if you enjoy what you are doing and do it well,there is not much that
can go wrong,also being booked in the right places is very
important...but there is no denying that we all crave recognition and
--- Per Boysen <email@example.com> wrote:
> I'd say this is "a problem" everyone has. It's a choice every artist
> has to make; to play for himself or to adapt his expression.
> Personally I tend to play for myself and the musicians I like to
> listen to also do that. Devotion seems to radiate and it appears as
> most audiences actually are more interested in someone doing it for
> himself than an player that bases his expression partly on what he
> thinks the listener expects him to deliver. As long as you manage to
> stay away from professional artistry this is all a piece of pancake.
> It may be more difficult to maintain that attitude among investors and
> brokers. You have to be ruthless to be true.
> Greetings from Sweden
> Per Boysen
> www.looproom.com (international)
> www.boysen.se (Swedish)
> ---> iTunes Music Store (digital)
> On Jul 17, 2005, at 7:04, Hartung, Kris wrote:
> > The question is, how long can I maintain it? I'm
> not sure how long
> > I can
> > maintain concern and interest in pleasing an
> audience....as I find
> > myself getting more self-indulgent and
> introspective in my playing
> > over
> > the years. Does anyone else have this problem? I
> think the looping
> > as a
> > soloist brought this out in me more...it's very
> easy for me to get
> > lost
> > in myself up there with the EDPs and my
> instrument. I don't know
> > why, I
> > just find my feelings gravitating toward more and
> more abstract and
> > obscure composition.
> > Kris
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Sent: Saturday, July 16, 2005 5:33 PM
> > To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
> > Subject: Re: RE: zen and the fluent music
> > I can tell a
> >> story that is completey atonal, and that is not
> appealing to
> >> everyone.
> >> I can also tell a story that is very "pretty" and
> melodic. That seems
> >> to attract a lot of people. I can see it in their
> faces and eyes
> >> when I
> >> play and watch them...it's like an experiment.
> > i see you already do both.....there ya go!.....mic
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