Thursday, July 30, 2009

Looping Ian Cooke

Rather awe-inspiring beauty.I did a post the other day on Forest Roxx about an old, old friend and his substantial responsibility for the suddenly exploding Denver music scene and its international acclaim of late. It's part remembrance and part homage. If you're interested, you can read the whole piece here.

As part of that post I added this very recent video of Denverite, Ian Cooke, a tape-looping cellist getting a lot of press, and with whom my old friend is working quite closely, engineering his recordings. This video is from Mr. Cooke's new DVD release. It is recorded live.

Cooke uses a variation of Robert Fripp's tape-looping techniques whereby he records himself playing a phrase, then immediately plays it back and adds another layer that is recorded as well. That is played back in turn while he adds yet another layer and this continues over and over. He controls the whole process through a couple of foot pedals as he plays, and can turn off or on the various layers he has recorded. It is both fascinating and quite beautiful. The effect is that one man can create a stunning, full, and multi-textured sound. Unlike Fripp, however, the whole of Cooke's work is to form the framework of an entire song rather than just to provide a platform for improvisational counterpoint.

Watch it.

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