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Re: Nerves on Stage: was Liking/Disliking your own music
I get the shakes too. A strange thing is that I have this strange bell
curve when it comes to practice and the quality of my performances. If
I practice too much, my performances tend to be more formulaic and
predictable. If it's been months since I've touched my gear, I tend to
forget the newer ideas and sounds I've developed. So no matter how
much I've practiced, I always feel like it's the wrong amount.
One of the nice and unintended bonuses about my drum machine rig (or
anything else that audiences aren't already familiar with) is that
abstractifies peoples' expectations of what they're going to hear.
Most people I've encountered who have rigs that look like mine use
them for harsh noise music. So, while I hope that each set will leave
the ground and transport the listeners somewhere (figuratively), I
find that on my worst gigs people still act excited that I made some
coherent sounds. Wow, now that I wrote that down, it seems a little
depressing - I do well because people have lower standards for me. :(
Anyway, doing completely improvised sets comes with pluses and
minuses. On one hand, you have faith in your ability to recover from
mistakes and gear mishaps. On the other hand, you don't really have an
net to fall back on if you're uninspired. Usually things work out in
the end, but that situation where you're expected to start playing
inspired music in a few minutes, and currently you're feeling pretty
empty inside, can be pretty terrifying.