Make A Baby To This Music
When it comes to the "indieness" of what makes indie-music so painstakingly avant-garde, Zack Galifianakis and Michael Showalter brilliantly sum up the debate with this fake interview in what amounts to a snake eating its own tail.
For example, Luke Fischbeck of Lucky Dragons. He's redefining not only how music is made, but how we experience it. More importantly, his work poses the question: Who exactly is the musician? Furthermore, shattered is the notion that the performer and audience are separate entities.
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Best representative of this concept is his piece "Making a Baby." Get your mind out of the gutter — performances of the piece do not involve sex, but there is a lot of touching. Consider it artistic procreation that gives birth to a musical experience like no other.
Fischbeck uses a sound card that issues high-frequency carrier signals to cables that are strung out beyond the stage to the audience members who are encouraged to pick them up. Once they do, they cease to be the audience and become makers of the music. That's because, as people touch the leads of the cables, custom software detects fluctuations in the amplitude of the carrier signal, triggering an array of audio effects, samples, passage shifts, filter sweeps, lighting and/or animation, just to name a few.
Not only that, as members of what used to be known as the audience touch each other, the sounds shift even more. As Eliot Van Buskirk noted in a recent profile on Fischbeck in Wired, at one performance he witnessed "art kids and scenesters…touching each other, and ultimately writhing about on the ground."
So, you can see why "Making a Baby" is a good title for this project, sheerly for its ability to provoke a bunch of art kids to thrash around like spawning salmon. I'll leave it to you bitter cycnics to make the joke about salmon dying after they spawn.
"All of these mythologies about 'crossing the proscenium' or 'breaking
through the fourth wall' in performance — it just becomes irrelevant," Fischbeck told Wired. "A performance or interaction is created equally from
all sides at once, you know? Whether it's technology or interface
setting the rules of the engagement, you also have everything that the
user — the person participating in it — brings to it. It’s really a
cooperation between equals."
At least this remedies the pandemic plague of most so-called indie-show audiences: the dreaded arms-crossed head nod while standing aloofly in place.