Monday, May 24, 2021

Rough Interlude Study, Week 9/10

Weeks pass and an end nears: as I write this introduction I sit halfway through week 10 of my university semester, with Monday of week 13 being the submission date for this project study. In week 9 I played a show, another Rough Interlude pt 1 (of which there are notes and thoughts on below) and in week 10 I will play/have played another another show, a new show this time for a dronefest at KEPK which will (hopefully) bring this study into its final stages of finalisation and completion: no more shows, just collating and readying a final body of work.

Notes from Tuesday, May 11

Played Tim Green show at the Cave Inn, same set as BSAF but in stereo; it went really quite well: because I was more practiced, and more familiar with performing this material, I was really able to involve myself with the performance and theatrics of the music rather than purely the technical side (which is what I was really striving for with my oscilloscape performance, as I said: I perform as the music, imitate it [or something of the sorts]). Despite this being the smallest of the three Rough Interlude shows Ive played, it might be my favourite out of them because of this, the familiarity that I have with the material at this point allows me to be more intimate and open with performing these songs.

This idea seems obvious to me now, and was always quite obvious to others, but it still seems a bit strange to me, or, its elicits discomfort in some ways... Let me explain: my music technology degree has (for obvious reasons) needed a completely new unique set/piece for each performance assessment, and I want one to perform at all before this degree, so my introduction to performance was one off sets and shows each utilising different means and technologies with vastly different styles of music. And when i dipped my feet into more performance outside of university, which was mainly in the electronic and experimental scenes, there lies a president of putting on a different and unique show every time you perform: fully ingraining this though into my head. So, breaking away from this pattern and following the more standard band performance: you have a set which you practice and perfect and each show is the same songs, with variations, yes, but generally performing the same material each show; in a solo electronic and experimental setting, this is incredibly useful as it allows a performer to be, as I said, more involved and performative with their music.

Moving forward, however, Im not intending to pick this one set and never play another, of course, but rather I continue playing this Rough Interlude set, but also revisit and rework various other performances and sets which Ive done in the past. Ive been wanting to work on my Birdfisher set from this past February, and also my Pdooll improv set from earlier (which I did, in fact, replay this March). This also combats another issue or fear I hold with replaying sets: the audience might get bored if they hear the same set again and again, but if there is a rotation of sets, even two or three, then (at least for me and the regularity at which I generally perform) there will be a good while between replaying the same set. Yet, even so, I have been watching my friend Tess King play and evolve the same/similar set of songs over the past year and still haven't gotten bored of her performances, so I feel at the end of the day there might just be some internalised repetiphobia... 

Of course, not even a fortnight after that show I play a whole new show: new music and new performance, for a dronefest on Saturday the 22nd of May. While, yes, contradicting what I just wrote and this big insightful discovery... I already had in mind to create this new work, titled Ruq, a noise based ambient/drone piece, and then was presented with an opportunity to perform such a piece at dronefest. And this brings me to a slight side topic: the future of Rough Interlude: I have grounded in place RI pt1 at this point (Sail Wind, Stereo Attic pt 3, Noonbell One, Noonbell Too), a album/collection of four songs which I am really happy with, nearing completion mainly in need of finalising and mixmastering. However, as one might have noticed over the past 2-3 months, I have created and written much more than four songs worth of content, and so enters Rough Interlude pt 2: another collection which is still in the conceptual and writing stages which will be worked on over a bit more time and released later down the track (as I do intend to release RI pt 1 pretty much how I submit it for this university assessment, and fairly soon after this assessment is due). This album so far has two pieces set in stone, the first being the yet to be named synthesizer composition from week 2 of this study, and Ruq. One or two more pieces will be included as well.

Notes from after show

Performance went well, aside from monitoring being a bit off: it was hard to hear much above the sub; despite, I had a good time and look forward to performing similarly again. The performance setup I settled on was similar to Birdfisher from this past Feburary, combined with mentality from Oscilloscape: Tascam 8 track playing stems (in this case it was just a full stereo mix on channels 1/2) routing through mixer to the main outs, then in parallel running a sp404 for effects and interactivity (which, for documentation's sake, was also routing back into the Tascam to record the performed effects).

This is a fun setup, allows for fully fleshed backing tracks and productions you would get using a laptop and DAW without needing to perform with a laptop on stage (similar to Oscilloscape 16 track setup). I've been thinking of ways for performance with Pdooll without a laptop, mainly based around using a microcomputer like a Bela or an Organelle, loading patches and systems onto them to avoid having a big laptop on stage. Thoughts for now, and I'm planning on resting from performances for a little bit, finishing uni and finalizing works...

        And so weeks will pass... Two more and then end of Rough Interlude study. I unfortunately must promise again, as in last post, updates and information about codings and more in depth detail about the goings of this project for next update, which will, finally, start to wrap up this project and bring things to a conclusion. Information on release of Rough Interlude pt 1 and the first public release of Pdooll tba.


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