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RE: Musicians Wanted (mannequins only please)
I always thought it would be fun to put three or four mannequins in the
audience sitting in chairs, where you could press a button that would
generate canned applause and chatter. In fact, one of these days I'd
like to create a really off the wall, avant-garde CD titled "standing
room only", and the CD would be me playing on a small stage in a
restaurant or coffee shop with nothing but mannequins in all the
chairs....sort of depicts the attitude I had toward performances and
audience turn-out about seven years ago when I was playing in an
avant-garde jazz trio (guitar-drums-bass). The more people that showed
up, the more disappointed I became, because it made me feel that my
music was becoming more popular, appealing to the common musical
listeners' pallet, and down-graded to the common denominator.
Essentially, I wanted to be interpreted as so un-popular, that only a
few esoteric listeners would come to my shows and focus intently on the
ludicrous obscurity and opacity of my music. :)
I've actually performed some music that was so off the wall that when
people applauded, it sort of insulted me as if they clapping just for
the sake of clapping. On stage, I tend to be self-conscious, hate to
talk, don't make a lot of eye contact, remain self-absorbed, etc. I'm
sort of a contradiction, however...I like the attention from an artistic
recognition standpoint, but I hate being the center of attention. I
want people to listen to and focus on my music, but I don't when them to
express this en mass...I'd rather have individuals come up to me and
compliment or comment on my music. Then again, if I were playing to a
very large audience in a show-case context, and no one applauded, that
might seem sort of weird. Incidentally, Miles Davis used to scold his
audiences for clapping after solos in performances. And I've seen jazz
soloists, who were second in line in the solo routine, start to play,
pause until the audience noise settled, and then start their solo again.
If you can pull it off (I do this once in a while), just play non-stop
for a whole set with no pauses between songs...I find this to be easy
with looping, because you can let your loops fade out and start playing
the intro of the next song. In other words, don't give them the
opportunity to applaud!
Anyway, interesting topic here...
View improvisational / real-time looping videos:
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From: Are-Jay Hoffmann [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 1:49 AM
Subject: Re: Musicians Wanted
on 2/12/05 2:57 PM, hazard factor at firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> I tend to perform solo or with my band at many venues where the music
> is not why people are there. Musicians are 'trained' that if you play
> and you finish, people are supposed to clap, right? If not, at least a
> few people in the audience either feel 'obligated' (that is what you
> are supposed to do/that is what the performer expects) or they feel
> weird being the 'leader of the clap' (that sounds obscene).
> Being that the music is 'ambient' (not a category, but an adjective),
> I skip over this whole performer/audience obligation thingy and *never
> stop*. Well, at least till the set is over. Then I stop, and don't
> wait for applause, I turn the equipment off. If people like it, they
> will buy a cd. Or come and say Hi. I know if I play badly, or if I am
> having a good night, and these gigs don't lend themselves to this
> 'external validation' anyway. Most musicians thrive on this, however,
> and maybe that is where the frustration sets in- the 'look at me, even
> if I am not the reason you are here- LOOK AT ME, DAMMIT! I am
> demanding some kind of acknowledgment that all this money spent on all
> this equipment and time learning to use it and all those scales and
> did you here that solo in the 3rd song and man, am I cool! Don't you
> understand what I am doing?? This is all live!! Sheesh!'
> I am sure I have been there too, but it really sucks felling that way.
> Interesting discussion.
> Dave Eichenberger
very interesting... when playing straight money gigs (or in situations
when im not sure if anyone will notice what ive spent my life trying to
perfect)...i like using the "Virtual Audience" technique for inspiring
quality performances--- RECORD IT! whether a minidisc or an MBox- this
insures that if you dash off one of the sweetest performances ever--
someone will hear it-- on your next record or a download you toss to the
masses. this also gives you incentive to do yer best even though the
payoff (feeling of worth) is put off to the future.
the first time i heard the solo version of "Two Days Old" by the
wonderful Michael Hedges, i was shocked to hear the thunderous applause
at its finish. Hedges mastered the art of focused energy. sound
quality/reverberation issues aside, i think its a good sign when its
hard to tell if youre going nuts on stage or going nuts behind glass
(hence the term "...but you should see 'em live").
obviously, the hardest thing in (looping) electronic music is
capturing the energy of multiple humans playing together. listening to a
studio recording of Canadian trio the New Deal makes me want to jump off
the ceiling...quite a sweet DJ simulation. turns out the initial tracks
are all live from the board--- then tweaked later. this also allows the
energy from each dancer on the floor to contribute to the "feel".
i know this is all obvious to the Loopers in this group, but i just
got tired of lurking. im also attempting live-loop remixes of some of my
former bands tunes. the notes/beats are no sweat-- but supplying the
energy of the whole band is a challenge im to deep into to abandon at