London’s Georgina Brett is part of a generation of solo artists who use layered loops to build trascendental, rotating textures from repetition. Hardware loopers and effects pedals remain the preferred tool here for Brett as for many such artists. But Brett’s work is worth a particular mention for its ghostly, ethereal quality and thoughtful, delicate compositions.

There is for me a continuum connecting to the Minimalists, of course – as a soloist, she’s doing some of the things that the Meredith Monk Ensemble did (minus the loopers), and there’s a feeling of the “discovered folk music” that Monk used in her work. Other moments have the quasi-Medieval sounds of Philip Glass — one track recalling the “Knee Plays,” other moments perhaps channeling Hildegard, in flourishes of modal monophony that underlie the writing. But this voice seems personal and intimate, centering on folk song round-style directness.

Watching her build up a track, even after many years of watching looping performances, is a pleasure, beginning fragile or even uncertain like an echo, but gently growing to a calmly rolling sea of sound.

Georgina Brett live at Cologne Livelooping Festival April 2011 from Georgina Brett on Vimeo.

From Cologne, above, a live performance of “Pythagoras”:

Lyrics are the Pythagorean 10 opposites and the Pythagorean categories….. ‘Musica Instrumentalis – music of sound, Musica Humana – music of the body and Musica Mundana – music of the Heavens.
This was recorded live at the Cologne live-looping Festival 2011. A wonderful, well organized, enjoyable event hosted by Michael Peters (Veloopity), including 9 other artists: Darkroom, Reyn Owehand, Per Boysen, David Cooper Orton, Premonition Factory, Pattysplanet, Uwe Schumacher, Twilight Worldz and Michael Peters. Thanks to Michael for the beautiful video projection of Jellyfish, which i didn’t get to see until I received the recording of the event!

While sometimes working with words, turning over them as much as sound or mantra as narrative, much of her work is entirely in sounds.

More of her tracks:

In particular, listen to the otherworldly “Burrows,” an improvised recording in a swimming pool.

Putting her in the bigger context, the Looper’s Delight released the “12​-​12​-​12 Project,” a Bandcamp record featuring the live looping community – and a few friends of CDM among them:

Chris Dooks, Darkroom, David Cooper Orton, Dennis Moser, Fabio Anile, Fragments, Gaetano Fontanazza, Georgina Brett, James Bailey, Jeff Duke, Juan Dahmen, Kavstik Kurva, Lindsey Walker, Luca Formentini and Stephan Castagna, Marco Lucchi, Massimo Liverani, Michael Peters, Nick Robinson, Petri Lahtinen, Rick Walker, Roger Sundström, Simeon Harris, Stephen Briggs, Steve Moyes, Sylvain Poitras, Todd Madson, Tuna Pase and Illi Adato.

You can join this community and loop along with other like-minded performers:

And check out their YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/livelooping

Hat-tip to the SoundCloud Tumblr for spotting her work; that site is essential for helping separate signal from noise.

On the technology side, I would love to see computer-based hardware reach the level of accessibility and reliability that hardware now offers. It seems experiments with devices like the Raspberry Pi might be ideal. With software behind the scenes, loopers’ musical range could become far more flexible.

But this beautiful music is a wonderful way to begin focusing this week.

Brett’s music is available on Bandcamp – another DIYer – but she’s also working the festival circuit, particularly around Europe. In case you didn’t guess, yes, she comes from a classical training, but is also remixer and “remixee” in various turns.

Photo courtesy the artist.