I think ive mislead you guys. my setup involves an axiom keyboard and a korg padkontrol controlling my laptop. I don't know how to play anything but piano so that greatly limits my ability to play a live acoustic instrument. I feel like when I perform on stage I'm kind of separated and try to show off more than be involving.
I agree with the "Do not become bored yourself" comment but have to point
out you have chosen to play for people live on stage in front of an
audience. If the best you can do is stand there looking at your screen and
moving a finger dressed like a pizza delivery kid ... well, you should
wait until you do can better. Kraftwerk can get away with that because
they are Gods and clearly it's part of their oeurve (And they have a cool
stage and synced video). We're NOT kraftwerk kids :)
Engaging an audience can be something as simple as looking at them, saying
something before you start or, God forbid, during your set. Make eye
contact, throw things out in the crowd, leave your laptop and do a
nunchuck dance (been done before too :) )
The gimmicks mentioned like having wacky clothes, dancers, etc all are
good ideas but like the music itself they're no substitute for a
personality that makes someone watching feel you are there to DO something
rather than stand and wait for your track to wind down. As Ann Landers
used to say: Look INTERESTED and people will find you interesting.
A good example of live laptop/looping with a mesmerizing performer is the
Thomas Dolby performances from a few years ago:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWitntwPjM4&feature=relmfu Now he has the
benefit of singing (something very human and engaging) but watch how he
"plays" and builds up the tracks live. He also is quite congenial to the
crowd. Imagine that!
On a tangential note I once attended a laptop gig with 4-5 performers.
Rather than having each "band" play their set the promoter set up a looong
card table and the front of the stage and all the performers set up at the
same time in a line. They then went on stage and the concert began with
one guy playing his song. When that was over (or winding down) the second
started up and they did this 'round-robin" type show where every song was
the next in line until it looped back to the first guy. Brilliant idea. As
the audience you stood there wondering what the next guy was going to do
to different or to top the previous or anticipating the one you really
coming up again.
It also showed that there is no such thing as "laptop music", just
"music". Each act was different (although they all leaned toward
glitch/beat stuff) so the crowd could see some of the individual
personality of each performer - something that rarely comes across when
doing all laptop or pre-recorded sets.
Finally just because your DAW doesn"t allow you to mix in audio doesn't
mean you can't play an instrument or do something else live over top of
it. They DO have mixers and a PA at these live gigs don't they?
Just sayin :)
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