[rumori] live performance
Boster, Bob [rumori] live performance
Mon, 18 Jan 1999 10:36:42 -0800 (00916684602, c=US%a=_%p=HIII%l=MAIN_SERVER-990118183642Z-23229atserver2.orban.com)
Great thread. I guess I'm the "live collage" poster boy in some ways,
since almost all my work, and the bulk of my released work, has been
made in a "live" environment. I find myself constantly involved in
pushing people to try to work in that mode. I understand the modal
limitations, especially for y'all "high editing" types, but I think
there's plenty of room for stepping away from the studio aesthetic in
one context, but continuing to release work made in that way. The two
things don't have to be even significantly related (word is our hero
John Oswald plays out on sax in a free improv mode).
Lloyd's comments on the performative nature of Public Works to me mark
out one extreme: play the tape and fill in the requirement for
"performance" in another media. I think that's a fine solution, but I'd
personally be just as happy with a less surgical audio element
constructed with cruder tools but the same sensibility. or even
alternating events, or a set that was half one mode and half another.
The question is would Lloyd and Ralph feel like that was their art.
Only they can answer that question.
I guess it's also true that there are so few events in our genre that
anything seems engaging at some level. I mean, I'd probably be
satisfied if all that happened at a given show was watching Jon and
Steev channel surf. That wouldn't make me "less excited" about their
For me there is no pressure to try to repeat a previous recording. I've
long since given up on that idea. Once freed of that constraint, I've
been able to concentrate on developing a live collage vocabulary for the
tool set at my disposal. That in turn has shaped the rest of my
aesthetic and now I find myself drawn to a given kind of material in my
I'm actually surprised that more people are not working in the "live
collage/abstract DJing" mode. As Jon mentioned the tools are there in a
reasonable price range. Sometimes I think the hesitation might be about
lack of control. I'm perfectly willing to accept that when I'm working
in a live mode, especially with material straight off the original
medium, that ALL KINDS of "errors" and unexpected things happen, even
within the context of me expecting to use "random" elements off some
CDs. I've come to cherish many of the "errors" and accept the rest.
Could someone address the control issue from their perspective?
>Sent: Sunday, January 17, 1999 9:29 AM
>Subject: Re: [rumori] live performance
>On Sun, 17 Jan 1999 wobblyatcompcurr.com wrote:
>->So I guess what I'm interested in hearing from any of you is any of the
>->reactions you've had as studio musicians who are making/have made a
>->transition to live performance -- because this really is a new environment.
>-> I'm taking home live tapes, i.e. documents, and since the on-stage
>->performance decisions are IDENTICAL to my approach in the studio, my
>This is an interesting observation and I must say I'm happy for you
>that that's true in your case.
>For me, ever since my work began centering around electronics and sampling
>(rather than electric guitar and lyrics like it did when i was playing in
>punk/goth bands), there has always been a marked division between my live
>music and my studio music. They've been by neccesity 2 completely
>different things, because I still can't really do what I really want to
>do live, whereas I feel like I have reached that point in the studio.
>(in fact my live electronic work pre-dates my first dabblings in the
>studio, [tho radio tends to blur the line between live and studio], and my
>current studio methods have only been possible over the last 3 years thanx
>to cheap desktop hard-disk editing systems - so in other words, my style
>has developed in the studio and progressed to the aesthetic level i'm
>pretty happy with, while my live work has not.)
>In the studio my process centers around very long bouts of digital
>processing, very meticulous editing, very careful thinking and laborious
>decision making. Each piece takes a tremendous amount of effort and goes
>through multiple versions and mixes before I consider it done.
>On the live side, i've either done ad hoc, stiff re-creations of studio
>pieces, performance art type stage activity to augment taped studio pieces
>playing, or improv-based electronics that has nothing to do with my studio
>pieces. Most recently the latter method has managed to have more and more
>to do with my studio work, and i've been very happy with that, but the
>connection is mostly due to the use of the same source materials, &
>managing to think about similar juxtapositional ideas in real time. My
>present live set up I first started using about 6 months ago, and before
>that i didnt play live for ~2 years, mainly because i couldnt do what i
>wanted to do. The solution came with a lucky inheritance of a piece of
>equipment, a guitar/midi interface. That makes it possible to control my
>sampler with a guitar, allowing me to use the physical skill i have on
>guitar to manipulate the kinds of recycled sounds I like. This has also
>begun to solve the other problem i have with live electronic music, and
>that is a lack of physical/visual elements in the performance (a whole
>I've been heavily interested in free improvisation for longer than i've
>been into sampling, so I see my live/studio dichotomy paralelling another
>in my work, which is the improvised/composed dichotomy. I may be
>satisfied with always having this separation, this dual nature to my work,
>or i may someday (maybe soon!) more successfully merge the 2. I see hope
>for this in 2 areas:
> 1. recent advances in inexpensive, portable, high-powered computers.
> 2. recent advances in software that supports algorithmic yet real-time
>The combination of improvisation with prepared software stimulus-response
>algorithms to control large amounts of sampled audio (and video?) data
>is a pretty exciting idea and the direction i am hopefully heading in.
>However there may fundamentally be an impossible chasm that i cannot
>bridge - free improvisational, on-your-feet thinking may not ever be
>compatible with the sort of semiotic, meaning-rich sorts of pieces that
>I'm most interested in producing. So the live/studio question may boil
>down to the aesthetic priorities I've set for myself.
>->This just occured me as the most likely list that'd have people who've been
>->staring this thing in the face for a while.
>yes. thanx for bringing this up, Jon. (I hope Bob Ostertag weighs in,
>since he's just finished a new live instrument that's been in the works
>Steev Hise, Head Chump
>recycled art site: http://www.detritus.net
>"Imagine America as a card table. And there's a bunch of junk on
>the northeast corner. You lift that corner up, and all the junk slides
>down to the Southwest corner. That's Los Angeles."
> -Frank Lloyd Wright