The ubiquitous glow of laptop screens hiding mysterious performances, the anonymous DJ looming above a crowd like a priest … if “live” music isn’t doing it for you, we bring glad tidings.
There are many, many artists doing it differently.
We got a chance to showcase just some of these artists recently in Berlin at CTM Festival, as part of our MusicMakers series. And what a lot of fun we had. In the video above, shot for CDM by Kevin Klein, you get a taste of what’s possible. In a dance of beams of light, singer/performer Lea Fabrikant croons bestrewn with Christmas lights as Tarik Barri navigates his musical performance in three dimensions. (Tarik is now on tour doing live visuals with Atoms for Peace.) Science Fiction Children (more on their work soon) combines a full, live electro band (no one huddled over a laptop here) with a robotic drum machine that makes all its sounds with real drums. Tim Exile dazzles crowds by improvising lyrics and combining the awesome sonic powers of his custom Reaktor patches with the awesome sonic powers of … his voice. A live jam demonstrates that techno can be constructed with hardware onstage as you watch, with a cast of so many of our favorite musicians that I’m dying to get together with some of them again just to hear more of them.
I know watching this video again makes me eager to try out new performance ideas and get to know more live performers; I hope it does the same for you. The idea that laptops or electronics make a performance less dynamic – well, that’s obviously just not the case. This is technology extending what humans do, and these humans can do quite a lot.
Pics and listening:
Science Fiction Children’s tunes may make you want to sing along:
Great live set from a different trip to Berlin by Mr. Exile:
And more Solar Year:
Images courtesy CTM Festival.