Can any real connection occur between performer and an audience? Yes and no. Real connection between audience and performer may not be possible. relationship between live performance and mediatisation. Through this audience relationship) I take this 'one-to-one' performance as an example of a site of people making their way across Hyde Park to see Ti1da Swinton recumbent in. staging, approach to mise-en-scene, audience-performer relationships, and scheme, a new way of dealing with theatre space and audience relationships, .. unusual recumbent positions stem from the form of the rock protuberances.
If we are to make real connection with the audience, our will to perform must first be liberated from all externally-driven considerations such as seeking acceptance, pleasing others, trying to impress the director, getting attention, love or approval, or seeking external acceptance for our talents, skills, and abilities.
Only when the will to perform is emancipated from external social approval mechanisms can we become unified behind what Jerzy Grotowski has called "the total act".
Performance of the total act requires the development of an internal faculty of resonance, i. Resonance requires no understanding, forethought, or plan. We either resonate with a given direction or state or we do not. When we lose this resonating capacity, we suffer indecision and can be plagued by vagueness of direction. Whenever we can fully commit to the visceral and spiritual resonances within us, a ripple effect occurs. Like a stone dropped in a calm pool of water, our personal resonances indirectly stir similar resonances in others and in the audience.
This mutual interaction of resonances relies on the performer's total commitment to their own visceral and spiritual sources which, in turn, trigger audience resonances. In this way, the audience experiences an amplification of their own presence and not just the impact of a performer's force, or will or charisma.
After such a performance, the audience leaves the theatre exalted and amplified - rather than dented, assaulted, exhausted or drained. How can we cultivate a deeper capacity for resonance? A violin produces its beautiful resonate tones due to its empty chamber; stuff the violin with cotton and the violin becomes mute. To increase our internal resonating capacity, we must learn to cultivate within ourselves this kind of "empty chamber" within the instrument of the self.
If we are stuffed with ideas, beliefs, techniques, and knowledge, our capacity for internal resonance quickly diminishes. The creation of internal space requires a process of "undoing" or emptying. There are many ways to initiate this process of undoing.
The most direct and simple approach I have discovered, and use in paratheatre, is borrowed from Zazen meditation practice. In paratheatre, I refer to this method as " No-Form ", a technique practiced in a standing posture, rather than traditional Zazen sitting mediation.
One cannot move very far while sitting. By surrendering to these forces, we allow their expression through us as vessels in spontaneous movement, sound and gesture. As performers, we're onstage because we exhibit, or should exhibit, more talent and skill than the audience that has paid money to see us.
Terre Thaemlitz - Writings - The Crisis of Post-Spectacle Ambient
The audience expects to be entertained and enlightened to some aspect of their lives and of humanity itself. The audience arrives looking to be informed, stimulated, amused. Performers are paid to control the communication in whatever medium they're working in; performers call the shots, must call the shots.
When the actors take charge and do their job, theatre happens. There is a difference, however, between theatre that just gets the job done and theatre that changes lives. Performers of the theatre that changes lives must continually develop their craft in very specific and precise ways. Though these ways can differ in method for each performer, it starts with making choices of projects that stretch and expand our existing skill sets and talents.
Without consistently challenging ourselves, performers can slip into plateaus of redundancy by repeating what they already know and what they do best. Without consistent challenges, artists of all kinds can easily stagnate in a quagmire of inertia; our existing talents wither, corrupt or fritter away into a blitz of glitz. We become more tourist than artist, more mimic than creator, more spectacle than substance. Las Vegas" Newton, demonstrates the fate awaiting those who only perform what they do best.
Don't get me wrong. Newton is a wonderful talented performer. He just does what he does over and over and over, again Skill refers to a dexterity for articulating the internal landscape through externally recognizable forms, symbols, images, and structures. Through talent we experience the presence, spontaneity and creative force of an artist; in skill, we experience virtuosity, technique, and sense of design and form. More often than not, artists and performers demonstrate an imbalance between talent and skill; too much spontaneity can overwhelm skill and too much structure can crimp talent.
The more exceptional the performer, the higher the integration of talent and skill. University of Minnesota Press,p. According to this model, processes of musical production and distribution engage an economy of repetitions in which "[the producer's] income is independent of the quantity of labor he provides.
Instead, it depends on the quantity of demand for that labor. He produces the mold from which an industry is built. Of course, missing from Attali's analysis is the manner in which these economies are inextricably intertwined as record sales impact performance draw including an impact upon a DJ's selection of materials to playand vice versa.
However, if we concede Attali's assertion that "in music, as in the rest of economy, the logic of the succession of musical codes parallels the logic of the creation of value,"3 then perhaps the failings and contradictions of an economy around Contemporary Ambient performance may be expressed in terms of an unconscious attempt to reconcile antithetical musical codes of repetition and representation, rather than a deliberate exploitation of their multiplicity - a multiplicity which is suggested by Ambient music's historical claim to address a restructuring and multiplication of cultural relations between production, performance and listening.
Transposed to the stage, the "live" performance of computer music boils down to pressing ENTER on a keyboard. Integral to any concept of performance is a strategic understanding of the means of production to be performed.
For producers such as myself, who are almost entirely dependent upon computer synthesis, there is little room and even less necessity for the realtime modulation of elements during final mixing. Spontaneity and decisiveness occur throughout the compositional process, but unlike in Modernist compositional strategies, they are not cherished as golden nuggets of primal and universal Humanist contents.
This tends to limit their utilization to persons associated with production houses or educational institutions which can provide the financial backing required to immerse oneself in such processes. Even when realtime synthesis is implemented in a rather user-friendly manner, such as Arboretum Systems' GUI-friendly standalone application "Hyperprism" for the Power Mac, the realtime thruput can only apply to one sound at a time, and on slower machines presents a significant increase in errors heard as pops compared to using the same program to process effects to a new sound file a non-realtime process.
Thus, non-realtime sound generation remains the primary form of computer synthesis available to independent producers. Of course, the cultural development of such "neutral" environments is a social political process, the frailty of which is reflected in the designing of such spaces so as to keep the "real world" out darkened and silent auditoriums, white and windowless galleries, etc. While such critiques are rather widely accepted or at least acknowledged within the visual and performance arts, they are largely unknown to and unrecognized by musicians.
This may lie in the manner in which contemporary Industry-based music production and distribution emphasizes broad product placement and consumer accessibility structured for consumers to "take the music with them" into busses, cars, homes, businesses, restaurants and clubs. In this manner, the "neutralization" of space engaged by music is not locationally fixed, but is rather a manifestation of the internalization of musical stylings genres and artists by consumers and producers as extensions of their subjective selves - a far more insidious and economically volatile relationship to deconstruct.
The ultimate inclusion or exclusion of serendipity is understood in terms of editorial decision making rather than divine manifestation, subjecting such occurrences to the same processes of social signification as strictly planned factors contributing to a representation of contents. Transposed to the arena of the stage, the "live" performance of such compositions boils down to pressing ENTER on a computer keyboard, and ends with approximately ten minutes of silence required to rewire and EQ equipment for performance of the next track.
Because of this, in academic computer music circles the popular alternative to real-time computer playback is to play compositions previously recorded on digital audio tape DATtypically in a darkened auditorium with the audience facing an unused and blackened stage. Like direct computer playback, this method of performance allows for the "live" playback of digital sound files, plus it has the added advantages of allowing for realtime manual editing and mixing of a producer's own input sources, as well as the intermixing of other producers' audio and external sound sources an eschewing of authorship and establishment of referentiality.
In terms of economies, such "live" performance becomes a representation of the productive processes of repetition. However, the deconstructive values I wish to infuse this multiplicious economy with are currently perhaps hopelessly circumvented by popular musical codes around performance as a consumer process, through which the performer is required to exist as a celebrity including personnas of humilityand all sounds recorded and ambient are exhalted only for their production of exchange value.
It is in this latter spectacular manner that the economic viability of DJ performance as an instrumental medium has been established, both within Underground clubs and Dominant Culture as exemplified by the global economic success of Rap, House and Techno. And as the majority of Contemporary Ambient events are organized by club promoters who deal with DJ's on a regular basis, one would think that a stratification between DJ-ing and "live" performance of conventional theatrical instruments would no longer exist.
But this is not the case, particularly within the price scales of Contemporary Ambient performance. Speaking from personal experience, after hearing that my standard presentation techniques do not involve keyboards or other traditional theatrical instruments, I have had countless organizers reduce their initially proposed "live performance" fee by more than half. In New York the common practice is to ask producers to DJ for free with a "we're all trying to make this happen together" snuck into the invitation somewhereregardless of the fact that people attending the events must pay a cover charge at the door to enter.
Such prioritizations of performance strategies enter the realm of cultural production by presenting an economic boycott which effectively censors the efforts of post-spectacle computer based producers by restricting access to the cultural outlets and economic means which both allows and relies upon studio production to occur.
The long-term effect of such an environment is Contemporary Ambient's restriction to popular musical paradigms of production and presentation. The cultural impact of such restrictions can be traced in the Orb's rise to supergroup status. Like many Contemporary Ambient producers of the late '80s and early '90s, the Orb's early performances took the form of DJ sets in "chill rooms" which were secondary to main dance floors in nightclubs and Raves. The decentralized placement of such performances seemed to be reiterated in the DJ's preference for anti-spectacle audio, including '70s Ambient music, sound effects, Minimalism and Music Concrete.
Despite the notoriously transcendental overtones of Rave "chill rooms," several producers myself included found affinities with the Contemporary Ambient movement through a realization that most of the stylings and circumstances of Contemporary Ambient performance invoke histories which emphasize a social material positioning of the audience in relation to the sounds being performed.
With time there began to be entirely Contemporary Ambient events, including Ultra-red 's opening of Public Space in L. Ultra-red drew from their experiences as activists to present "ambient music in its most obvious, material manifestation: Perhaps this cynicism stemmed from the very real experience of harm reduction and needle exchange. No amount of ecstasy - particularly spiritual ecstasy - completely erases the body and its material needs.
In fact, the capacity to experience pleasure is directly linked to the quality of care given to the body. This we learned from harm reduction. The same seemed to apply to a musical movement which took its inspiration from a history of avant-garde music, from Russolo and Cage to Eno and the Orb.
Central to that tradition was the notion of giving audition to the sound culture of the everyday: He forgot to add: The farce of the Orb's Ambient was the Prog-Rock packaging and staging of a premise claiming roots in anti-spectacle. A viewing of the CD booklet is intended to mimick an emergent awareness of processes of social contextualization. The front of the CD booklet features a triangular excerpt of a photograph of trees, playing on popular Contemporary Ambient associations with Nature as a transcendental signifier.
The title Soil was not only a cynical stab at amnionic "Mother Earth" Ambient music titles, but was a reference to ejeculate, indicative of the mastrubatory nature of music production and "creative" processes including those I myself engage in. Similarly, the image of the condom references the phallocentrism implicit to conventional definitions of such processes.
But in the absence of any large-scale understanding of how to stage events around a concept of decentralization, most organizers and producers grappled at the most familiar performance strategy associated with free-form and a-structural music: In this manner, Contemporary Ambient producers fell prey to all of the demands of other stage and personality-based performance strategies.
Decentralization was overwritten by a concept of authorship, and any remnants of desire among producers for anonymity only resulted in confusion. Disoriented producers took darkened stages, beginning and ending their sets unannounced and intermixed with opening and closing DJ's. Meanwhile, audiences now faced stage-forward, asking if the show had begun and complaining that they could not spot their favorite stars clearly on stage. Bywhen the Orb took center stage at New York's Roseland Theater with drummers and guitarists on hand, dominant Contemporary Ambient performance was no more than a musical staging of The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.
Few seemed to realize that Contemporary Ambient's inapplicability to a Prog-Rock metaphor involved a disclosure of Prog-Rock and all music's site specificity and non-universality, and suggested the development of new performance strategies.
Under the collapse of Prog-Rock staging, a number of producers including Oval, Scanner, Dumb Type and myself increasingly turned toward production methods which attempted to address processes of deconstruction present in our own methodologies.