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Oct 13th
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In the Loop

event ANDRE LAFOSSE Y2K13 LOOPFEST HEADLINERThe 13th annual Loopfest features headliners who think about guitar in new, innovative ways

Though electricity is an integral part of the instrument, the electric guitar isn't generally associated with electronic music. In the popular imagination, EDM producers employ an array of drum machines and synthesizers to create sounds—manipulating them with an assortment of processors.

That's not so different from what Andre LaFosse does, only he uses a guitar to produce tones—both percussive and musical—and stompboxes to process the signal. LaFosse is a looper. He uses his guitar and a looping pedal to create entire songs, live, on the spot, and he is one of four solo guitarists headlining Y2K13 Loopfest, a local celebration of the art of live looping.

Among musicians, video artists and others familiar with the term, "looping" is shorthand for taking a snippet of sound or film, and playing it on repeat—adding effects to alter the loop and often overlaying other clips of additional sound or film on top of it, building an entire composition in the process.

Loopfest—founded by local looping enthusiast Rick Walker—has been bringing artists from all over the world to perform in Santa Cruz since 2001. This year, the festival will feature musicians, producers, DJs and videographers, using a variety of tools to create loops in real time, in front of live audiences.

LaFosse, who is now based in Los Angeles, grew up in Iowa to classical musician parents. As a young man, he was initially drawn to electronic music, and when he eventually picked up a guitar he set about using the instrument and a pedal board to recreate the sounds he had heard on hip-hop, glitch core and industrial records.

He refers to himself as a "turntable guitarist." "It's almost like being a DJ," LaFosse explains, "but you are creating the record you're spinning at the moment you're spinning it."

Using just a guitar, a looping pedal and a collection of FX pedals, LaFosse creates a rhythm section, chord changes and melody. The beats on many of his songs are composed of static swishes, electric crackles, the buzz of a guitar cord being plugged in, or the sound of a flat palm slapping the strings.

"For me, looping was a way of trying to expand the vocabulary of the guitar with electronics—of imposing the sound of the looper onto the guitar itself," LaFosse says. Using this method, he explains, "I'm basically getting things out of the looper that you couldn't get out of the guitar."

Walker first discovered looping at a Weather Report concert in the late '80s. He says he was "gobsmacked" when he saw the band's bassist, the late Jaco Pastorius, use a delay pedal to create a rhythmic loop, which he then played over the top of.

A longtime percussionist, Walker immediately saw incredible potential in the technology. "I thought, ‘Oh my God! If I could only do that,'" he recalls. "Being able to clone oneself was a really exciting idea." He quickly picked up the growing art form and has since made a name for himself in the burgeoning looping community.

In the past, Walker has invited bassists and other looping aficionados to headline the festival, but this is the first time Loopfest will be led by guitarists. In addition to LaFosse, headliners include Henry Kaiser, Daniel Thomas and Walker's brother, Bill.

Walker says he’s looking forward to this year’s event, adding that it will be a great opportunity to see some of the looping world's greatest innovators, who also happen to be some of the most forward-thinking artists in the realms of music and visual art. “The people who squiggle away from the mainstream that try to get away from the status quo,” he says. 

The Y2K13 International Live Looping Festival takes place from Oct. 18-20 at various locations in Santa Cruz County. For the full event schedule, visit Tickets are $15/door. No one turned away for lack of funds.

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Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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