[PD] Pd performance at TED

Ingo ingo at miamiwave.com
Tue Jun 21 08:05:01 CEST 2011

> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: pd-list-bounces at iem.at [mailto:pd-list-bounces at iem.at] Im Auftrag von
> martin brinkmann
> Gesendet: Montag, 20. Juni 2011 22:12
> An: pd-list at iem.at
> Betreff: Re: [PD] Pd performance at TED
> On 06/20/2011 01:43 PM, Marco Donnarumma wrote:
> > Ingo,
> > thanks for your explanation, I think to understand how he's playing.
> i do not think i do (completely), though i have only watched it twice
> so far. it seems that everything is based heavily on live-looping. at
> first i thought he was using some kind of midi/parameter-looping, like
> recording the chords first, and the filter/fx/whatever parameters in a
> second pass, but after watching it the second time, i noticed, that the
> chords (including sound parameters) repeat exactly while he was doing
> something else, like it would be the case with audio-looping.
> i can not tell if the chords/melodie are presets triggered with
> the buttons (thats probably what i would do) or played in a
> completely open way, maybe using a preset scale or something similar.
> and i wonder how he managed to sync the drumloop (if it is one, and not
> something recorded using the buttons/wind controller) to the chord loops
> recorded earlier. (in-ear) monitor and some kind of metro/click track
> would of course explain this.

All lines are played live. There is no pre-recorded drum loop. He is using
audio looping only. The drums are played note by note. He starts out with a
HiHat (selected with the fingering of his windcontroller) triggered by the
breath controller to play the rhythm. Then he adds the other drum sounds on
top of it. Just as you would do when you program a drum pattern with a
regular drum computer.
He has a visible metronome on his "phone" that allows him to keep the tempo.
Every instrumental line is added by playing it into the audio looper. The
chords are fixed chords moving in parallel and are used like a melodic line.
There is no sequencing!
The looper seems to have several tracks that can be selected and turned on
or off by some buttons. This is the reason for the coloured lights. To make
an overdub with a specific instrument you need to know which instrument you
will be playing. One of the buttons seems to merely toggle through the
tracks of the looper. So a visible feedback (coloured LEDs) for the musician
is inevitable.

There are accelometers fixed to his hands which he uses for filtering. So
the point of this is not the gestural control but to simply add some extra
controllers as a wind controller is usually limited to a small number of
notes, volume (breath control), pitchbend and maybe one or two more
controllers located on the mouthpiece or some special buttons, sliders or
pressure sensors that could be used for other things.

Using more parts of the body than just the usual woodwind fingerings opens
up the sound possibilities while still having the traditional woodwind
controls. BTW these take years of practicing! So you don't want to sacrifice
your skills by using the standard controls for other things than what they
are meant to be in a standard way. That's the real reason for involving the
whole body in his playing - to expand the number of available controllers.

> i think this uncertainty of what is going on 'on stage' is a
> general problem with electronic music, which was (obviously) not solved
> with this performance either, since even people who know about
> this stuff have only vague ideas of what is happening.
> for an audience with a background in electronic/computer/whatever
> music, a authentic and satisfying performance might be
> less challenging though.an obvious example is live coding, where it
> is totally clear to the audience what is happening. but even
> a 'laptop gig' becomes less boring, when you can see what is
> happening on the screen (of course only if there is something
> happening), for example in a mirror behind the performer. (works
> very well in very small venues as far as i have experienced)

Well, I really don't know why there is a reason fort he audience to know
what is going on. Does a violin player - when he plays a Mozart concerto -
have to explain what position he is playing on the left hand and which bow
stroke he uses? Does it make a difference to the audience if he is using
"spiccato" or "ricochet" on this particular phrase? Does the audience have
to know how a piano was built in order to appreciate and enjoy piano music?

There is way too much technical thinking going on in a lot of electronic
music. Instead of using technology to make expressive musical applications
in the sense of e.g. a flute that has been around for thousands of years
people go away from basic, emotional traditional musical expression and put
technology first. I do not think that this kind of music can ever replace
the empiric musicality that has been around since there is mankind.

> > This might be a very personal take, but if movement is secondary in
> gestural
> > control, why one uses gestural control at all?

I have explained above what the movement of the body does.

> it is probably not secondary all the time, but only when he is
> doing something else (with the wind controller for example), and
> the previously recorded loop plays on. and even if it is only
> 'secondary', movement/dancing is certainly very helpful to
> stay in sync.
> bis denn!
> 	martin

Absolutely! Movement of the body to the music - called dance - is as old as
music itself. This "beat jazz" is a kind of music where you simply do it and
don't question it just for the sake of putting things into drawers like art,
pop, jazz, crap!
There's not choreography and it's no ballet.


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