Loren MazzaCane Connors
, b. 1949, New Haven
Connors is an avant-garde guitarist
best known for his composing and improvisational chops
, as well as his astounding output. Over the past 23 years he has written and recorded more than four dozen full-length albums of original material - and astonishgly original material at that.
Though Connors is well-respected in musicians' circles, he began to achieve greater notice with a 1998 improvisational LP called mmmr
, a collaboration with members of the famous art-rock
band Sonic Youth
and Jean-Marc Montera
. Coupled with the album's laudatory liner notes by legendary "American Primitivist
" guitarist John Fahey
- himself the subject of a recent Sonic Youth-inspired surge in popularity - the Sonic Youth collaboration earned Connors his widest exposure yet to the world at large.
Connors first became interested in music as a child in Connecticut, where he often listened to his mother sing J.S. Bach
pieces at churches and funerals. He studied violin
as a child and trombone
in his adolescence. The exposure to classical composers steered his young mind toward the music of Puccini
. Once he picked up the guitar in his teen years, Muddy Waters
began to hold sway.
Connors studied art in college, but moved back to an artists' warehouse in Connecticut by 1976. Two years later, he had released his first LPs, an eight-album collection of haunting, unaccompanied acoustic guitar
pieces. Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley
, under his Smells Like Records imprint
, re-released the entire output as "The Dagget Years
" to wide acclaim last year.
Dagget refers to the first of several record labels
Connors formed to release his own work. Around 1981, his work coalesced into structured song forms, and he began releasing his takes on folk music on his own St. Joan label, with musical help from the vocalist Kath Bloom
From 1984 to 1987 Connors bailed out of the music scene. When he returned, he picked up the electric guitar and released two of the albums that raised his profile among cognoscenti
of primal guitar wallop: 1989's "In Pittsburgh
" and 1991's "Hell's Kitchen Park
Connors also moved to New York in 1991, where the deep thinkers and hellraisers of the avant-music scene welcomed him with open arms.
Since then, Connors has played across the U.S. and Europe with a Who's Who of underground music luminaries: John Fahey
, Thurston Moore
, Jim O'Rourke
, Keiji Haino
, Alan Licht
, Chan Marshall
, Rafael Toral
, Henry Kaiser
, Dean Roberts
and Ikue Mori
, among dozens of others.
often appears on Connors' recordings, credited as a vocalist
. These days, Connors peformes with an ensemble, Haunted House
, with Langille, guitarist Andrew Burnes
and percussionist Neel Murgai
In addition to the dozens of records on his own labels, Connors has released tons more on more than two dozen other labels:
's Glass Eye
Books published Connor's first book, "Autumn's Sun
", in 1999.
http://www.smellslikerecords.com - Connors works.
http://www.fe.net - Forced Exposure
store, more Connors music.
Byron Coley on Connors:
Loren MazzaCane Connors (Mazzacane means "dog killer" and apparently Connors has had his fair share of problems with dogs — this may explain the rather frequent changes in his name) is a guitarist whose heart lies at the center of a tightly pulled web of sound. He has been recording and releasing records for over two decades, yet his music remains difficult for even his most ardent fans to really, epistemologically grasp. His attack and technique exist inside their own bee's wax procedural cell, drawing from known sources primarily in terms of sonic-actualization (a note is a note is a note) and emotional reverberation (a moan is a moan is a moan).
The music on this release is remarkable, not only for the overt primitivism of its sentimental cant, but also for its ability to appear as its own stylistic terminus, rather than a mere station on the path to the cross. Loren has sometimes downplayed the worth of this music, but it clearly marks an ontological leap from earlier forays into musical theater, even as it primes our brains for the more coldly blue distensions that would follow it. Yet it would be incorrect to say that this work represents a “bridge” between these two modes. These improvised compositions have a loner vibe as powerful as anything ever recorded. They exist as a unique and dark piece of musical magic. If discovered outside the context of their creator's history, these pieces would still have the strength to inspire quiet awe.
(Byron Coley, Deerfield MA 1999)