Looping Life Open Access

Fenger, Chris (Spring 2021)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/zs25x971x?locale=en


In this honors portfolio, I explore multiple questions pertaining to the key differences between live and recorded music, as well as the concept of “looped” music. One question I explore is what the fundamental differences in music consumption are when music is performed live, compared to when it is played back over a stereo system? Also, how does compositional practice change between the two mediums? Looped music in this context describes short phrases of melodic or harmonic content that can be repeated continuously to create a circular phrase structure. Exact repetition of melodic phrases is present in many musical practices. My experience working with looped music grew out of my love for hip-hop music and beat making. What I discovered producing beats in my teens is that many of these motives and phrases have a contour that begins and ends in the same place. Hip-hop producer Madlib is probably my greatest early influence; his ear for loops is impeccable and his ability to discover obscure sonic worlds in the realm of sampling is unmatched. Other composers who work with looping that have influenced me are Steve Reich (e.g. It’s gonna rain), Miles Davis (e.g. “Spanish Key” from Bitches Brew), and Igor Stravinsky (e.g. Symphonies of Wind Instruments). In this Honors Recital, I explore the limits of this phenomenon and discover new ways to experience this “looping” aspect of music.

Table of Contents

Looping Life

Reflections in the Whirlpool (Fixed Stereo Audio) 

Loop Lyfe (Fixed Stereo Audio)

Purgatory (Erika Tazawa - Piano, Chris Fenger - Cello)

Streetlights  (Fixed Stereo Audio)

Broken Transistor  (Alex Lipsky - Violin I, Kevin Chaney - Violin II, Andrew Kang - Viola, Harrison Cook - Cello)

Jammin’ with Mac (Chris Fenger - Cello, Max Patch)

Static Motion (Alex Lipsky - Violin I, Kevin Chaney - Violin II, Andrew Kang - Viola, Harrison Cook - Cello)

Rocks and Trees (Fixed Stereo Audio)

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