Subject: improvising
From: Damian Stewart (
Date: Wed Mar 16 2005 - 16:03:37 EST

(cross-posted from acma-l)

hey everybody,

i've recently started experimenting with using my laptop as a live
instrument, totally improvising, with no prepared sessions or clips or
what have you.

this means i can play alongside 'real' musicians in a free improv
environment and communicate with them musically in real time, which i'm
finding is an amazing experience, far better than i'd ever thought
possible with a computer.

problem (or not?) is that i have little or no background for comparison
with what i'm doing. i'm fumbling about in the dark, which is great fun,
but i'm wondering whether i'm covering ground other people have explored

to that end i'd love to read any writings or musings or ramblings anyone
has or knows of on or around the topic. i just had a jam tonight with my
lappy and three 'real musicians' (guitar, organ, percussion) in a free
improv situation where discernable loops, beats, rhythms, or pulse were
banned outright, and i had a ball. got me thinking some crazy thoughts
about what it means to make music on a computer or otherwise, what it
means to make music live, down to what constituted the breakthroughs in
popular musical forms once acousmatic techniques and principles became
part of the everyday working environment of the producer to an extent
that they jammed on them (lee scratch perry, king tubby; detroit techno
and the house movement)...

crossovers between improvising and composing, the process of
construction of a musical object versus the playback of the resultant
musical object (if you were to record the desk output as someone was
using protools to write a piece would that in itself be a separate
musical object? would the recording be worth listening to, would it be
musically interesting? would parts of it be worth listening to?)..

brain going a hundred miles an hour, just ramblin' away.

(hi! i'm new here. (waves))

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