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EXCLUSIVE: Loren Mazzacane Connors on Tinnitus Music Series, Miles Davis' "He Loved Him Madly," Wife Suzanne Langille and Analog vs. Digital

By Maria Jean Sullivan m.sullivan@classicalite.com on Apr 05, 2015 12:16 AM EDT

The one, true guitar hero, Loren Connors is nothing if not prolific: 50-plus records as far flung as Drag City to Ecstatic Peace/Father Yod to Table of the Elements, as well as countless more via his own imprints (Daggett, St. Joan, Black Label, etc.) under at least as many aliases (Loren MazzaCane Connors, Loren Mattei, Guitar Roberts, ad inf.).

Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson's in the early 1990s, live and in-person, Connors continues pretty much unabated (cf. with Keiji Haino at the Whitney, with Tim Hecker at the Wick, that sold-out show at ISSUE Project with girl-in-a-band du jour Kim Gordon).

Faster than Derek Bailey, more powerful than Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca combined, able to leapfrog over Ry Cooder with a single, boundless bar of blues, his 65-year-old l'éminence grise answered some of Classicalite's none too pressing queries via e-mail.

Classicalite: Since we talked to Tim Hecker about it earlier, how did you get involved with the Tinnitus Music Series? I wouldn't call your sound "extreme," per se.

Loren Connors: I was glad to be part of that night at The Wick. Tim Hecker is always good, and it was my first time hearing Haley Fohr [Circuit des Yeux]. I hope she comes here a lot more often. So, I guess I'm extreme sound--extreme internally, I guess.

Clite: The Departing of A Dream was recently re-released on vinyl, thanks to Eric Weddle over at Family Vineyard. How has Miles Davis' "He Loved Him Madly" impacted you?

LC: Huge. I first got into his music when I was about 21 years old. His elongated notes in "He Loved Him Madly" took me somewhere else. Miles, together with the bassist Michael Henderson, were an unbeatable team.

Clite: Speaking of teamwork, "I Wish I Didn't Dream" with your wife Suzanne Langille for Northern Spy was a bit of a departure, yes?

LC: Way out. Suzanne and I have been working together for about 25 years, but the sound we do together keeps changing all the time. Which is a good thing. That particular record was a new sound for both of us, which is always a good thing.

Clite: On to the extra-musical, what was it about the artwork of MP Landis that made you want to work from his inspiration?

LC: I like the idea of playing music off of visual art. It was an interesting project to work with his paintings, because I'm also a visual artist. He's a classy, individualistic painter. He's working towards a mastery of monumental abstraction.

Clite: Among your many, many collaborations, I keep returning to that Contrasts split cassette with Chris Forsyth. I'm curious as to how that project originated. I know he curated that event at Abrons Arts Center, back in late 2011.

LC: I'm not sure whose idea it was. That came out of the Preservation label in Australia.

Clite: Anything new, ensemble-wise, we haven't yet heard from the likes of Haunted House?

LC: Not right now. The last time we played was at the Victoriaville Festival. Andrew Burnes lives down in Atlanta, so we only get together once in a long while. But it always works when we do.

Clite: Finally, what about new solo work?

I've got something new in the pipeline, from a couple live performances. I'm still confused about how music should be released. I don't know why records starting disappearing. I don't know why CDs took over. Then, suddenly, they starting disappearing, too. Now, records are back, but it's a big challenge to get a good pressing. I don't know. There's a big difference between people of the 20th century and the 21st century. The computer age brought in a whole new language, a product-oriented lingo with alphabet shortcuts for things. It's all so different, even though it's just a few decades ago.

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TagsEXCLUSIVE, Classicalite Q&A, Loren Connors, Miles Davis, Suzanne Langille, Tim Hecker

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