My house, the Main Entrance, planned our fall show in 2022 on my birthday, so I wanted to do something different than just my normal singer-songwriter bit. I often play guitar and drums over improvised guitar loops. I play better when there’s something to respond to. So I composed three pieces for looped guitar. I came up with lyrics and drum patterns for each one, and I practiced improvising over them.
The live set then was just that: build a guitar loop, solo for a bit, maybe sing, drum over it, repeat, etc.
I decided to do a “studio recording” of each song in advance of the performance, but I didn’t want to just perform the set in front of the microphones and stick it up on Bandcamp. I wanted it to be a real studio recording.
To me, what differentiates a studio recording from a live recording is the amount of intent you put into a single performance. So my way of executing that in a piece composed for loops was to record each layer of the loop separately – often single notes. You’re way more likely to latch onto repetition when listening to recorded music than you are watching a live performance. So the loops are loopy but they’re not loops. They vary. In a weird way, you have to play differently on a studio recording than you would live to make it sound the same.
Then the studio version came out on Bandcamp, the same night as the performance, like a stupid, backwards birthday gift to myself, wrapped in a QR code, and with a bow on top woven out of sticky PBR cans.