Hey, Rick...a few comments/questions... First, I like your explanation about adding 16th notes sparsely to yield a similar psychological effect as using more....this shows the power of music, but more importantly the power of the mind in the interpretation of music...or how it's really a two way street. You always seem to have an insightful outlook on many of the topics discussed in this group, which is very refreshing. I'm assuming most of you have heard of the Heisenberg principle where attempting to observe sub-atomic particles changes their behavior (velocity or location depending on what you are trying to measure/observe). And this principle has gone on to produce even more bizarre results in quantum physics during the last three decades where observation appears to alter how particles behave when they split and are "entangled". Whether they take certain paths seems to be effected by observation. It just goes to show how in physics or music, nothing is comprehensively defined in its own isolated system. What a thing is can just as much be a result of how it is observed, and under what circumstances. Second, I find your neo-Pleistocene remark very humorous! Rick, have you been carbon dated yet? Or do they have to use potassium-argon dating. ;) (Sorry, I couldn't resist) That produced my first laugh of the morning. Third, tell me man, have you actually spent time in an isolation tank? (like in the movie Altered States....one of my favorites). I really want to try this some time. Finally, I just uploaded clips of my performance the other night with the percussionist/didgeridoo player....complete with mistakes, restaurant dishes clinking in the background, etc. I don't expect anyone to have the patience to listen to a few of the 20 minutes songs, but they take quite a musical journey, especially "Saga of the Lord Abstractomondo" (Part I and II). http://www.soundclick.com/bands/5/hartungandmiressemusic.htm Cheers, Kris -----Original Message----- From: loop.pool [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2004 12:34 AM To: LOOPERS DELIGHT (posting) Subject: LESS IS MORE (was Constraint of Randomness) LESS IS MORE (was Constraint of Randomness) Steve B wrote: " Regarding Rick's long and interesting discussion on looping, exact copies,and small randomness "livening up" a repetitive pattern: as I remember things, one tenet of information theory (as I learned it) is that the more of the content of a message that you are able to predict, the less information that message contains. So predictability is inversely correlated with information. So even slight variations in a repetitive sequence raise the level of information." That's fascinating, Steve. It makes me think of a brilliant lecture that I heard once while studying under the maverick Gregory Bateson ("Steps Towards an Ecology of Mind"----one of the most brilliant and intellectually paradigm shifting books I've ever read) back in the neo pleistocene era at UCSC. I'll paraphrase all of this in a pretty dumbed down version as I am not only a neurophysiologist, I am also close to 30 years from having heard the lecture (note to Dr. Zvonar and the other people with training in these areas here: be kind to me...........<chuckle>) He pointed out that not unlike a car engine that won't run with too much gas or too little gas in it's carburetor, the human brain seems to function best between the tolerances of too much information or too little information. This of course, changes slightly for each human being. He said, too much information (double binds psychologically, extreme emotional and mental stress, overwork, extreme anxiety, et. al.) and the brain will secrete endorphins to 'cool' down (or physically depress) the amount of information being taken in and thought about. To illustrate the too little information scenario he talked about what happens in a sensory deprivation tank (one of which I happened to have experienced at this time in the early 70's): With no light, no external sound, a temperature the same as exterior of the human skin and floating bouyantly in a saline solution so that the effects of gravity are lessed considerably, one finds that after the first 10 minutes of getting used to the sounds of your heartbeat and blood circulating in the capillaries of your ears one begins to hallucinate mildly and then increasingly visually over the next half hour to forty five minutes. In my experience, these hallucinations rivalled the most intense of LSD 25 or Psychedelic mushroom trips I took at the time (note: young loopers don't do drugs.............they may turn you on). Amazingly, it seems as if the brain will make up information rather than experience to little of it. This says an awful lot about the nature of projection in human beings but it also raises a fascinating point about the perception of minimalistic repitition in music: My working theory (as a groove drummer for most of my adult life) is that the more minimalistic a groove (within reason) the more an audience will actively 'participate' in their listening by projecting more onto what they hear than what they actually hear. I think and have experienced in my self a sort of audio hallucination when listening to a minimalistic loop (or a Fela recording) over and over again I just reread this last paragraph and it doesn't convey exactly what I mean but I'm at a loss to explain it. The practical example of what I'm saying is that if you play and 8th note drum beat and add on syncopated offbeat 16th note ONLY ONCE in two bars of a repetitive pattern and the listener most definitely percieves that the rhythm is a syncopated 16th note pattern NOT a syncopated 8th note pattern. You know the effect when you play a drumbeat that only has 8th notes in it? When you start playing 16th note hihats over the same kick and snare drum pattern the rhythm appears to add energy. It feels like it has double timed when in reality nothing has changed in the kick/snare groove. Well this is the opposite of that. If you play only 8th notes and add one 16th note (say on the 'a' of beat two) once every two bars, the rhythm suddenly feels like it has gone to that 16th note ride pattern (even though is hasn't). <<<<<here's a quick setup so you can hear what I'm talking about: program 8th notes on closed hihat; 2 and 4 on snare drum and put a bass drum on the downbeat of beat one and the 2nd 8th note of beat three and then duplicate this pattern so that it is two measures long: listen to it intently for a little while Now: add a kick drum on the last 16th note of beat two in measure two only. Now listen to it. Can you hear how much it changes the entire feel of the two measure rhythm? In stylistic terms you just went from playing a Rock and Roll rhythm (post early black rock) and have entered the world of 16th note syncopated Funk. In this case, truly LESS IS MORE. And this can be really effective musically whether there is more 'information' as Steve points out or not. ************************** I feel fuzzy headed tonight, but do you see what I"m getting at? PS In deference to Richard Zvonar I will cease to send out posts that have bright fuscia fonts in them. They look great on my computer but apparently are impossible to read on his............lol. My apologies to any one else who had difficulty reading the last couple of posts, consequently.