I’ve been thinking about live performance lately. I figure for now, because of lack of cashflow for hardware, if I ever manage to get enough songs together for a set of my own shit, it will just be me rocking out tweaking effects on rendered multitrack versions of my songs… but even then… will the audience notice? I could probably get away with playing minesweeper on my laptop during a show and noone would even know the difference.
Which begs the question: does the performance of electronic music even matter? Perhaps I should spend the entire time on stage chopping apart an acoustic guitar with a hacksaw, in a somewhat lazy attempt at dadaism… would that be more entertaining then convincing the audience I’m composing in realtime? Do they even care? Is this why Trent Reznor feels the need to smash his synths on stage? (hell, they’re not even doing anything… they’re bloody empty boxes! my Mac is performing the entire song backstage!!)
So my question is this: Obviously performance is important to keep the audience engaged, or we wouldn’t have issues with laptop stigma… however… to what ends is it important? … that is, is the illusion of musicianship more important, or is the show more important? There are relatively few ways to show one’s musicianship with electronic music, but if we put musicianship on the backburner, the audience knowing full well that we’ve composed the music in the first place, and open the stage to other forms of expression, is that enough?
And even moreso: Is it imperative that we, as electronic musicians, focus MORE on the show than on the musicianship?