Loops for Larry
Loops for Larry is dedicated to my next door neighbor, Larry J. He's a trumpet player, a roofing contractor and a beloved husband, father and grandfather. Before coming up with Loops For Larry, 11 of the ultimately 12 Hybrid tracks were either finished or in production. I felt like I was still missing one piece to the puzzle though. Being at least partially practical, I had been thinking that I was probably shooting myself in the proverbial foot by not making it easier to play at least some of the Hybrid material live. After buying a Roland RC-50 (looping device) for my TED audition, I thought I'd try my hand at doing a song based on live looping - something I could actually pull off playing live, solo. For those of you who don't know what looping is, it's a means of playing a musical passage into a recording device that then plays that passage back immediately, as many times as you want it to. In the case of Loops For Larry, I used the looper to record around a dozen phrases that all layer on top of one another.
Usually, writing comes fairly easily for me. I enter my studio, turn stuff on, set stuff up, and Bob's my uncle. Not so for this tune. I wrestled with getting one phrase, then the next, and the next. On the third day of this wrestling match, I had to spend a day at a studio away from home. When I returned, I learned that Larry had gone into a doctor's office for a pre-op checkup for a knee surgery he'd been planning for a while. Apparently he hadn't been feeling 100%, so he told the doctor who then had him do an EKG. On seeing the results of the test, the doctor had him admitted to the hospital for emergency open heart surgery the following morning. Larry was told that considering the shape his heart was in, by all rights he should be dead. Later in the week, after the surgery, in fact, Larry almost did die.
Nothing like a little reminder about mortality to shake me out of the rut I was in. After learning of his situation, the next time I set foot into my studio, I finished the track in one sitting! Previous to learning of Larry's brush with death, the working title for this piece was Loopy. Larry's got a bit of a loopy sense of humor, so the title easily morphed into Loops for Larry.