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The Williamsburg Renaissance

The above image is a snippet from the commissioned mural that wraps the lower walls of our building here at N6 Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: a neighborhood somewhere between its sixth and seventh waves of gentrification. 

Amidst the barely-staffed chain pharmacies and fresh rubble of music venues, studios and practice spaces of recent past, it's inspiring to sit here at The Loove with some resources and cultural purchase to imagine what is still possible for music in this City, Nation, World, Celestial Node... what-have-you.

I just started here, after a few years of noting all that is wrong with the cultural industries and the new paradigm in which creative work (via copyright) contains a fractional value compared to a few years ago. At The Loove we are taking note of all that needs fixing, but meanwhile we are also doing the fixing. That's the plan.

Back to the mural snippet, which is out of context but "framed" all the same. It expresses what we aim to be: the passionate fiery core of creativity, spitting out energy that flows into its own rivers of possibility that carve out new lands with new life. All of this, leaning on pillars of commerce, fairness and process. How do you take-in all the chaos of the music industry and re-format it into something coherent and inspiring?

Watch whicle the story unfolds.

Barney McAll, Pipeside (watch)

"I'll make a mistake and I'll love it. And I'll milk it."

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Rest in Power: Ornette Coleman the Great

There is no such thing as music without the great men and women who constantly transcend the boundaries of our perception of sound.

It takes many years to learn to accept our music for what it is.  But beyond that, it takes even more time to create a new system for developing that music, using the sounds that, themselves took time to accept. 

When people listen to the music of Ornette, they are getting a perfect harmony of these aspects, of sound, of music and of a system that brings about a vision of true democracy.  

It is more than just money being taken away from giants like Ornette, it's the recording of a system and a legacy being stolen as well. 

To develop new systems for sound to work within, we must learn to refrain from housing those systems within others that damage our welfare, our livelihood and our sound. 

So before we remember Ornette by sharing a You Tube link to Facebook, lets make a stand for him and others, and go back to the records on our shelves, or maybe even to just be silent and meditate on our time and space, his ideas and the fight for those ideas that he most certainly was accustomed to. 

Rest in power. 

Information Revolution

After the revolution...

Information has been liberated. It's possible to navigate the surface of the moon from your smartphone. Cecil Taylor, Yasiin Bey and Flying Lotus- their work fuels a shadow economy in clickthroughs and data trade. 
 The race to build the future isn't about information, or about media. 
We submit it's about conviction, investment and care. Music is too vital to be limited- as a commodity, clickbait, a fleeting impression of binaries- this infrastructure in sound makes culture tick, allows us to reason on a deeper level. To uphold the art is, finally, empowering for audiences.

We're not sure we want to exist in the world where Capital One and Geico are the ultimate arbiters of our expression- risk management isn't punk rock, and the music lives elsewhere.

Our task, humbly, is to create a real space for the work. Not necessarily a safe space, not a free space. But one where the transactions generate growth, where a body of work can be developed and where art can unfold on its own terms.


Loove 2015

Monder + Poor + Lightcap: Excavation (watch)

These are sounds to light your nights and mornings. Humble beginnings for our live series here at The Loove: "Excavation," an early live video performance featuring virtuoso guitarist Ben Monder "Mind Bender," Ted Poor, and bassist Chris Lightcap.

Noise: Love It or Leave It

On a plane to Munich I had to sit with a man who talked my ear off about how computer based music was not "organic" or "natural" music, and that it had no "soul". I think he was really just nervous about crashing head on into the sea, which I was praying to happen just so I didn't have to listen to his ramblings for the next four hours. 

Later when I got off the plane I thought about how, despite my own opinions as an electronic musician, this belief that computer based music is vacant of the "soul" raised a lot of questions. 

The soul, like music, is intangible, but can also be developed and improved upon. The soul can also be recorded and played back through art, writing, film, rebellion, nature and all that good stuff. 

The only thing is that we know a lot more about music than we do about the soul. Music is no secret to the ones who make it, or at least the process of making it isn't a secret. 

Music obviously started with an instrument, maybe the voice or maybe 2 stones hitting together in some sort of rhythm, then it probably moved on to a goatskin stretched across a wooden membrane and some horse hairs on a bow etc. From what we can tell by looking back in history and seeing where we are today, music was used as a way to communicate as well as a way to tell myths (that's all I strive to do, tell a ghost story while beating the drum, whether it be a real one or a laptop). 

Taking a step back in time, it reminded me of my own issues with computer based music software versus analogue hardware. Despite my prejudices I'm almost entirely digital for the portability and the wide spectrum of possibilities that comes with it but one thing that keeps me yearning for analogue is the noise of it. My main problem with digital music applications is the silence that is there to start with. If you record nothing at all onto analogue tape and play it back there's still something there, noise, which will become louder when you raise the volume. I always needed some noise to begin with, whether a tone or some hiss seeping through the faders of a beat up old mixing board and then take it from there. 

However now digital music applications are becoming more of a tool for creating noise, sometimes at the most micro of levels. What we're hearing now in music is that the sounds have become more and more complex. You can tell by listening to underground electronic music these days which is incorporating a higher bandwidth of frequencies and as well as contemporary notated music which had been leaning further to incorporating prepared instruments, electronic sounds and extended techniques. Both genres overall just incorporating a wider spectrum of noise, harmonics, overtones, beating tones etc. 

What is happening is people are yearning for more noise and it's becoming more and more acceptable to hear it, so we are actually improving our ears by being able to hear sound in a different way. Who knows, maybe the more these sounds become filled with other noises and are incorporated into contemporary pop music, than within a hundred years our ears will be so open that we'll be able to hear a bird singing from a mile away, or a fox in the woods in the catskills while we're sitting in a coffee shop in Brooklyn. 

So all this talk about noise just makes me wonder - Could this be the "soul" this person is talking about? Noise? Probably the best description of the intangible soul I can think of is that. The soul in music is noise, and the soul in us is also noise, the essence of us hidden because of the fear of the unknown. 

 
 

Peter Apfelbaum: Gigantic Solo Piano Session (watch)

http://www.peterapfelbaum.com/