The commission from Sonic Acts XIII to make a piece for performance in Paradiso brought up some unusual challenges. It became quite clear that with 30 minutes sound check on an 8 channel system, 15 minute performance with 5 minute change over, there was little room for ‘live’ performance as I understand it, and as supported by STEIM. In effect I was asked to produce a sound file for them to play back, acousmatic / ‘tape’ piece style. So where does the live performance come in? what possibilities are there for adapting to the context of the space and the audience at the moment of production? can these elements possibly be determined in advance? My preparation of this piece in the studios at STEIM consisted of many tortured unsatisfactory versions, and I ended by shifting my live electronics to the preparation phase and performing to myself in the studio. As an ‘editing’ technique, these ‘live’ versions that i made in the studio created a sound world and form that a multi-track editing program would have likely overruled. The experience just strengthened my conviction that the playing / improvising of electronic music even at the most simple level, is crucial to it’s generation.
Fishing for Sound at Paradiso