C.W. O'Meara (formerly Vrtacek)



(revised 7/99)

Solo recordings

Victory Through Grace


Leisure Time Records, USA

vinyl lp/out of print

Extensive use of loops on this one, owing to the fact that I had read a lot about the advent of new equipment that allowed digital sequencing and sampling but couldn’t afford it. My attempt to use loops to fill up the background of a solo album, add texture, create whole pieces and fill in for musicians. "A Foreign Gun" uses a looped percussion track. "How They Spoke to the Deaf" is entirely composed of loops, some only played one time. "Pontos" is also composed entirely of loops. The most famous loop on this album is one extracted from a Bugs Bunny cartoon which Warner Brothers somehow discovered after the first pressing and suggested I remove it from subsequent pressings.

Days and Days


Leisure Time Records, USA

vinyl lp/out of print

An extension (stylistically and technologically) of "Victory Through Grace." On "Live Free or Die" I looped a drum/bass part in six measures, even though the song is in 4/4. The loop contains a short fill, but since it is six measures long, the fill doesn’t land on the same beat each time, a technique I have continued to use when creating loops or samples. Very obvious, but it keeps the track from sounding boring and repetitive (even though that’s precisely what it is). Lots of other loops here, too, such as a noise and percussion loop near the end of "Include Me Out" inspired by the Art Bears "Hopes and Fears" album and "An Infinite Number of Monkeys" which is essentially all loops with the exception of some dialogue and a couple of guitar solos. By this time I was creating deeply textured loops, inspired by the Mnemonists’ "Horde" album where I would record four tracks of live playing (often with prepared instruments), then slow them down or speed them up and mix them to one channel of a stereo reel-to-reel deck. Then I’d repeat the process and mix to the deck’s other channel and make a loop, which itself might be played back into my 4-track cassette deck at half speed or double speed. I might do this until I had filled all four of the 4-track’s channels, then mix the results once again, ending up with long loops that might contain as many as thirty-two individual loops.


Learning to be Silent


Cordelia Records, UK

vinyl lp/out of print

Here the looping tends to be isolated, with some tracks performed entirely live, by me and others using loops to create a background over which live playing was added. These tracks include "When/If," "Thinking," and "Picture in an Empty Frame."




When Heaven Comes to Town


Re Records, UK

vinyl/out of print

A companion album to "Learning to be Silent" though not planned as such. The same approach was extended here: a selection of melodic tracks which were all performed live, real time and several tracks such as "Preparing the Bridge for Heaven" and "Saying Goodbye…" which used looped backgrounds over which live playing was added. The long title track was mostly done live in the studio in real time, but some loops pop up here and there, most notably as a percussion track to what sounds like the theme music to an Italian movie.

Days of Grace


DOM America, USA

two LPs on one CD

This CD re-issue contains most (but not all) the material from "Victory Through Grace" and "Days and Days." The only notable looped section left off was "Live Free or Die" (see notes to "Days and Days"). The track "No More Baseball" was re-recorded for this CD and retitled "The Day the Sun Burned Out." It contains loops of insect sounds recorded in my garden. This reissue is in print and available, thanks to the dedication of Jon Carlson at DOM America



Silent Heaven


Cuneiform Records, USA

2 LPs on 1 CD

Thanks to Steve Feigenbaum at Cunieform Records for assembling this CD re-issue of "Learning to be Silent" and "When Heaven Comes to Town." The only track missing from this re-issue is "Crooked Heart" from "Learning…" which contains no loops. This is one of my personal favorite CDs for many reasons.


Fifteen Mnemonic Devices


Odd Size Records, France

This release contains lots of loops and sequences. Many of the dense textures heard here are loops of live improvisations done with my good friend Nick Didkovsky at my home. Originally recorded on cassette, they were enhanced sonically, cleaned up a bit and fed into my 4-track cassette deck using the technique describe in the notes for "Days and Days." The result is a thick layer of loops created by Nick and myself using guitars, prepared guitars, percussion and toy instruments. Simpler loops are those such as the long loop of gongs over which I placed a phone conversation between myself and my mother. Most of this CD contains live playing, but notable exceptions include a series of loops married with ambient sounds from Grand Central Station in New York City and the Catheralle de Notre Dame, Paris.






with others

Preacher in Naked Chase Guilty


Ponk, USA

with C. Cutler; and T. Dimuzio

A live recording from a show in Hartford, Connecticut, USA. In addition to the improvisation, the score included true quadrophonic tape loop backing by me. This, unfortunately, is not apparent on the CD. The loops are there, but owing to the stereo recording, one doesn’t get the full effect of being surrounded with sound. This topic is expertly discussed by Chris Cutler in the accompanying booklet.


Flies in the Face of Logic


Pogus Productions, USA

with Nick Didkovsky and Steve MacLean

Nick asked me to contribute to this album, which was to explore the idea of digital prepared piano. My choice was to use the sequencer in place of tape loops but applying much of my usual asthetic: building up layers, altering the speed, etc. The result is a series of very short pieces reminiscent of both Conlon Nancarrow and soundtracks to Warner Brothers’ cartoons.


A Loop's A... Home.