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Re: ambivalent feelings about playing live (was: PrePrepared vs. Improvisational)

> But now all that just seemed so
> far away and... stupid. My feelings really surprised me, but I just
> couldn't come up with one good point in playing live. It seemed such a
> ridiculous situation; "shall I stand here and make music on this
> instrument while people sit there doing nothing, except staring at....
> me...?" it just felt weird.

That's exactly how I usually feel during a gig, except one where I'm
in a pop-band type situation.  I think for me it's a simple matter of
if I've rehearsed something I can focus on the performance.  If I'm
going pure improv, I have to focus on making the music for it to be
anything decent. Thus the performance suffers and I can tell I'm not
that fun to watch.  If I'm not fun to watch, why not just play a
recording of an improv session I did at home?  To combat this,
throughout the years I've done things like play to projected videos,
video games, as background for performance artists and as background
for art shows, but other than the performance art, in the end it
always felt like the fact that I was making it up as I went along was
meaningless and the audience would be better or equally served with a

I once did a rave with Jon El-Bizri and I swear I watched about an
equal enthusiasm over the DJ spinning CDs after our performance as we
got for ours.  At that point I realized I was wasting my time
schlepping gear around.  YMMV.

I honestly think we're our best, and possible only audience for live
improvised looping.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  I
just don't think we're part of any music movement with any sort of
relevance outside our group. I got a billion times better response
doing a karaoke version of Purple Rain at my wife's company's
Christmas party last year than I have have at any looping gig.  Sure,
it involved me dry humping the stage, but I won a hundred dollars! ;)