Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How to Succeed in Experimental Music

So, you wanna try yer hand in the experimental improvisational music game, huh? Who doesn't? Good luck, son. It's a tough racket. I've been at it for over a quarter century and I still got my day job. Lucky for me I likes my day job but if you really wanna make it you not only gotta get into the venues but you gotta know how to give it when you get the show.
Y'aint one of them laptop guys are you? Good. Besides them bein' a dime-a-dozen, I have yet to see any of them's got any showmanship. If I wanna see someone tappin on a computer thinkin they're makin art I'll go to a Starbuck's, know what I mean? Gear and gizmos and someone who knows how to work 'em is what folks wanna see. Give 'em lots of knob twiddlin, octopus arms, blinkin lights, nests of wires and, if ya got it in ya, nothin beats the one of a kind, homemade electro or electro-acoustic noise maker. Give em a show. They wanna see you movin around up there. They wanna see you in the zone makin decisions and implementing them in the micro-seconds that on-the-edge experimental improv demands.
Besides the show they see, of course, what they hear is what ultimately makes or breaks ya. My advice is: "Don't be lazy and don't be scared." Your audience is not there to hear some pussy ass four to the floor bullshit or endless dronage; if they wanted that they'd go to a club or chill out in a relaxation room in one of them wacky spas. Your audience wants to see you stretching boundaries and, well, experimenting.
The trick is to have fun up there exploring while keepin it entertaining. Experimental folks like to think they're seein something new and different. They wanna feel like they're in on something special and on the cutting edge but, and here's the big thing, they don't want it to hurt and they have a limited capacity for boredom. It's all about balance. Find the edge and learn to walk it- No. Find the edge and learn to dance on it and that's where you'll find yer success. Now get out there and show 'em something weird and wonderful.

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