] [Thread Prev
Re: ending ambient pieces when playing LIVE shows
I don't perform live, but i've seen/heard quite a few live ambient
performances. So these are ideas/opinions of an audience
member, not a live performer.
I often find the end of ambient pieces in a live context lacking: this
is NOT a record, the audience is not in their living rooms or bed
Ambient pieces can become very harmonically dense by the "end".
One thing i think that could work well live, wrapping up a piece much
better than just a simple fade, is to simplify the loop at the end.
(The Loop IV Windowing technique points to this strategy.)
Listen for one note in that dense blend that is pulling you in as
performer, set feedback on your loop to a fairly low setting, and
begin playing that one note--especially with, in your case David,
a guitar stroke with a definitive attack (i.e. no volume swell). As
best as possible try to hit that note about the same time each
go around. (This will be more effective if the loop is on the short
side.) The loop becomes bell-like chimes of one note. End the
piece by stopping/muting the loop with the foot-pedal while
simultaneously playing that one note again: a final chime, with
I think David has asked a really good question here. Gimicks
can be cool and interesting, really thought provoking; but sometimes
the audience wants a thoughtful, MUSICAL ending to a piece. So
when in doubt, simplify, simplify, end. The audience gets to
appreciate that sense of completion, they get to applaud you,
thinking to themselves, "Ah! You made it back from your journey
to us in this room."
And just for the record, while i appreciate some shows that have
no break between pieces, HAVING breaks between, especially
ambient pieces, can be very rewarding for an audience. It's the
breathing thing. It lets the audience clear their palette, clear their
ears a little, then appreciate each piece anew.