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Re: The Spirit of Live Music

>>At the risk of starting another, what is loop music thread - Why does a
"loop" show have to be about somebody putting the loops together - and
does the audience really need to be aware of this?<<

Need? of course not.

there's no 'need' involved in any of this.

there are laws of likely cause and effect at work though, and knowing
something of your audience and the way they think is going to help you
should you choose to take any notice of their opinions and reactions to 
you do.

Ultimately, it's obviously all about music. But we're turned on by 
things. I doubt there's anyone here who hasn't encountered particular music
in a particular setting and not liked it, only for it to become a fave when
the context was right. That's certainly true for me. I've also got albums
that didn't work because they didn't fit my expectations, but when I
adjusted those, I loved 'em (Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws by the wonderful
Bruce Cockburn springs to mind - was expecting something that sounded like
James Taylor, didn't get that, was initially dissappointed, but later fell
in love with it).

So in once sense the term 'loop show' shouldn't actually exist. Except that
people are drawn to it in some contexts, so it works. As a musician who 
looping, I like seeing what other people do with it, so it's another point
they've scored towards getting me along to the gig. backing tracks have no
such mystique, and so score minus points. If the music's good enough I 
care (Peter Gabriel, Squarepusher etc.) but a live looping show is going to
get an initially more favourable reaction and doesn't have to earn my
attendance by my being exposed to years of God-like genius ala the two
examples given above...

Ultimately, rubbish music that features looping won't last as long in my
player as programmed stuff that's musically wonderful. Live looping at a 
won't turn me into a fan, but it might get me along to the show to listen 
the first place...

Where's this going? ah yes, a 'looping show' - I guess such a billing and
what's expected depends on whether it's advertised as such (like Rick and
his fantastic looping festivals) or not (me opening for Level 42) - what
'should' it contain? isnt' that the wrong way round? shouldn't we listen to
the music and then make the call on how it should be described?

So, if someone emailed me saying 'I do this live looping thing, it's really
cool, you should come to my gig' and when I got there it was them with a
load of backing tracks and a DL4 doing the occasional repeat, I'd be a bit
disappointed, and they'd have to work harder to win me round, as my
dispensation towards them would have gone from positive to negative...

The lesson? be careful how much hyperbole you use in promoting what you do
on any level. Getting people to your gig is one thing - that's where
'looping festival' names and stuff are great - but if the music is a pile 
gnu faeces, your big-up-yourself promo methods are going to work against
you, and against anyone else using the same route for promotion. So tread
carefully, and make sure you spend at least 5 times as long practicing for
the gig as you do preparing the press release and posters.

As I always tell my students - being a good player will never get you a 
but it will keep you the gig when you get it. this is the opposite. Billing
yourself as a looping musician won't make people like what you do, but it
cause people who are drawn in by the title to check out your sounds, and
hopefully then your great choons will ensnare them for life.

Just be careful not to pidgeonhole yourself too tightly. I'm very glad
whenever I get an email from someone saying 'normally I can't stand solo
bass stuff, but I like what you do' - not just because I've managed to not
sound like the legions of slap happy NAMM muppets, but also because I've
managed to find a marketing route that has caused someone who expressly
doesn't like solo bass to listen to what I do - Success!!


www.stevelawson.net (gig details, news, MP3s, paypal CD orders etc.)
www.pillowmountainrecords.co.uk (buy CDs)
www.pmrecords.gemm.com (buy the same CDs)
www.solobassnetwork.org.uk (other people making solo bass noises)