Santa Cruz has been called the "Live Looping Capitol of the Universe" by prestigious UK bassist, Steven Lawson and has been the site of the world's largest live looping festival on the planet for the past five years running.
Home to 19 performing live loopers, the City has declared "International Live Looping Day" in the city for the past five years and Mayors of the city have not only presented headlining live loopers from 10 countries around the world official Keys to the City but Mayor Mike Rotkin even took a first live looping lesson from festival organizer, Rick Walker in front of the Y2K5 Festival audience.
This year's Y2K6 International Live Looping Festival will bring headliners and featured artists from 10 different countries and over 50 artists will come from around the world and around the country to partipate in the main festival on OCtober 21st and 22nd at ALCHEMY (in the Pearl Alley Bistro parking lot).
Amazingly, all the artists involved with the festival in both organizing, producing and performing have ALL paid their own way to attend and perform/work. For a festival of this size this is an extraordinary statement.
The live looping festival will mark the 5th anniversary of the Y2K series and the 10th anniversary of the looping megasite, www.LoopersDelight.com.
Additionally, the festival has provided inspiration for the production of 35 festivals in 15 countries around the world in the past five years. Festival organizer, Rick Walker, has toured as a headliner in 12 countries as a solo live looper in the past three years, seeding the first festivals in Northern Europe and Great Britain.
Not associated with any style or genre, the live looping movement is composed of musicians who are fascinated by the use of repitition, aided by new state of the art digital looping technology in both hardware and software. Innovative companies like Looperlative and Cycling 74 are designing live looping hardware/software in the SC area as well.
With it's presidence in early music concrete, tape looping by the likes of pioneers, Terry Riley, Ramon Sender and later in a more popularizing mode, the Frippertronics of Robert Fripp the movement got it's start at the introduction of the Loopers Delight website. Formed by Kim Flint (who, himself, was part of the developement of one of the earliest live looping hardware devices, the Gibson Echoplex EDP) the websites daily digest connects many of the worlds live loopers. The formation of the website occurred a little over a year after the introduction of the world's first digital looping hardware devices, the Gibson Echoplex and the Lexicon Jamman.
The first official regular live looping gigs on earth ocurred at Mobo Sushi by a group called Third Wave, consisting of Rick Walker (percussion/found sound/multiple melodic instruments/voice), his brother, Bill Walker (guitars/guitar synths) and Gary Regina (multiple reeds, guitar, keyboards, percussion) which was a spin off of the innovative world ethnic fusion band, Worlds Collide just a few months after the introduction of the Lexicon Jamman in 1995.