I discovered the music of Bernhard Wagner whilst surfing for “looping music” and found a number of loop samples on his website. I found them very inspiring, since they incorporated a stronger rhythmical element than my own loops, which tend to be more harmonically based. I asked Bernhard for permission to do a collaborative track using his and my loops. He not only agreed, but also sent me a CD full of further offerings. I put a track together in a very organic manner, (since I wasn’t overly familiar with the software) allowing the structure to emerge almost of its own volition as I arranged and treated the loops. We both agreed it was a project worth extending and over a fairly rapid period, I soon had enough material to form a coherent set.
Deciding when a track is complete can be problematical, since the range of possibilities is endless and there is always the temptation to do one more remix, using the latest VST plugin you’ve discovered. However, I feel the music has a cohesive unity and the tracks complement each other. I’m indebted to Bernhard for allowing me complete freedom to edit and warp his loops – we decided that collaborative mixing would put too great a strain on our internet connections and slow the process down too much. I hope he may find the time to reverse the process and produce a similar collaboration some time.
Listening to semi-improvised looped music require a different mindset to more conventional forms. There are rarely verses or choruses. The interest lies in the transition of sounds, the dynamics, the timbres, the evolution of the piece and the mood it evokes. Many of these tracks are quite introspective, but I’ve always preferred the more sombre and dark tones. I like to think this is the sort of music Joe Meek would have played during his funeral.
The tracks have been mastered by Paschal Byrne, who has worked with such luminaries as the Rolling Stones, ELP, Moody Blues and Soft machine, amongst hundreds of others. Available on Bandcamp