The eclectic music of improvisational guitarist Loren MazzaCane Connors is difficult to describe neatly and concisely, but avant-garde is the best generalization.
Experimental, jazz and blues also fit, and even hints of Irish music are evident. Connors -- who names abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko as his single biggest artistic influence -- is incredibly prolific; he released approximately 30 albums between 1978 and 1999 -- many in extremely limited quantities -- on countless labels under his own name and a handful of pseudonyms (including Guitar Roberts.) His wife, Suzanne Langille, occasionally sings on his recordings. Connors' obscure albums met with indifference until the early 1990s when critics began to take notice and supporters such as Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, Gastr Del Sol's Jim O'Rourke and Alan Licht (who has recorded with Connors, Run On, Love Child and Blue Humans) sang his praises. Connors, who often extensively edits his recordings to create albums, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1992. As a child, Connors studied violin (which he credits with shaping his vibrato technique on the guitar) and trombone. He also learned rock & roll bass guitar. Connors was heavily influenced by his mother's singing as well. She often performed Johann Sebastian Bach pieces at funerals. This exposure to classical music led Connors to investigate the music of Giacomo Puccini and Frederic Chopin. Blues, particularly the works of Robert Pete Williams and Muddy Waters, also appealed to him. Connors studied art at Southern Connecticut University and the University of Cincinnati in the early 1970s, but he decided his music was more original than his painting. By 1976, he'd moved back to Connecticut. Two years later, Connors began issuing albums on his own Daggett label. Between 1978 and 1980, he released eight albums of solo acoustic guitar improvisations. Just 75 to 100 copies of each were pressed and sent out to radio stations, and Connors himself doesn't even have them all! (These albums were scheduled for re-release in 1998 as a four-CD set thanks to writer and Father Yod Records founder Byron Coley, a longtime Connors fan.) Between 1984 and 1989, Connors was largely inactive musically. He married Langille and they started a family. Connors dabbled in writing during this period and he won a haiku award in Japan. He moved to New York City in 1990 and a year later he began releasing albums on labels other than his own. After Connors learned he had Parkinson's disease, it changed the direction of his music. His early work often consisted of short acoustic guitar pieces, but once the disease was discovered he experimented with longer electric guitar works complete with feedback and distortion. Much of Connors' late-'90s output was released on Road Cone Records, a small label based in Portland, OR. Airs was scheduled for release by Road Cone on Oct. 22, 1999 -- Connors' 50th birthday. The Daggett Years followed in mid-2000. Little Match Girl was issued the following year.