Audience participation technique

Live patching, designs, and techniques that push the performance envelope.

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magnetsandlasers
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Audience participation technique

Post by magnetsandlasers » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:01 pm

So a couple of days before my first gig, I was worrying about giving myself too much to do/not having enough to do/just generally freaking out and had the idea that I could do some kind of audience participation. You know, spread the work around a little bit, but also give the audience some kind of stake in the performance. This was a general-interest gig: we had an anarchist folk band, a guy singing weird songs with a bowed bass, a throat singer, a Dead Can Dance-sounding trio, and me. So not a lot of people familiar with modular. I was set up on the floor next to the stage so very accessible to people. I ended up making these cards:

Image

I used Avery perforated business card stock and made a list of suggestions, for example:

Change a pattern
Latch the sequence
Snake mode!
Switch drums
Visit the beach
Quantize a rapid cycle
Oscillate wildly
Embrace atonality

Then I used a mail merge to transfer the list to the cards, and printed my logo on the back side. I put out 40 cards and got maybe 30 back, so I consider this experiment a success and will definitely incorporate this idea into future performances.

Here is a list of the suggestions I used.

Please feel free to suggest more here!

If you're interested in seeing how it worked, here is a video of the performance. People start coming up with the cards around three minutes in. Next time I will have a table so people don't lay them down on my live keyboard :doh:

[video][/video]

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hlprmnky
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Post by hlprmnky » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:58 pm

First of all, what a great set! Lots of movement and change over the 30 minutes but also a consistent feel and theme throughout. I had to get my laptop off my lap and dance around a bit while this was on. Second, the cards are a really cool idea - it reminds me of Brian Eno's "Oblique Strategies", but instead of a way to break through a creative logjam on a more in-the-studio headspace, a way for the audience to interact. If I ever get confident enough in what I'm doing to play out myself, I may well steal your idea. :)
A question: this was your first gig, and you obviously had a good sense of where you wanted to go, where you could readily go, etc. You also put the cards together as you were prepping for the set. Did each card have a kind of pre-baked "plan" associated with it in your mind? For example, if someone offered you "Oscillate wildly", would you have thought "ah yes, I know what I had thought I would do in response to 'Oscillate wildly'", or would you have to ingest that suggestion and react to it completely in the moment?
Again, really nice set, I plan to re-listen again soon.

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Post by magnetsandlasers » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:20 pm

hlprmnky wrote:A question: this was your first gig, and you obviously had a good sense of where you wanted to go, where you could readily go, etc. You also put the cards together as you were prepping for the set. Did each card have a kind of pre-baked "plan" associated with it in your mind? For example, if someone offered you "Oscillate wildly", would you have thought "ah yes, I know what I had thought I would do in response to 'Oscillate wildly'", or would you have to ingest that suggestion and react to it completely in the moment?
Again, really nice set, I plan to re-listen again soon.
Thanks, I appreciate the kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed the set! I plan on using the cards again, and you are of course welcome to use the idea. The directions are a mix of specific instructions and general suggestions. They are meant to be a little bit inscrutable, haha!

Here is the whole list as of now

So mostly I would interpret the card in a way that would further the patch, but the result would not necessarily be apparent to the audience. “Oscillate wildly” is a card I did receive and I think I interpreted it to mean “add some FM to that oscillator” :banana:

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Post by beautyofdecay_ » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:17 am

That was a great set!
I have done some "conventional" performances many moons ago but never with a modular. I love the idea of the cards to get some active audience engagement. I think it's pretty cool people brought you cards during your performance even if they probably could not see or hear the direct result of it.

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Post by magnetsandlasers » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:49 am

beautyofdecay_ wrote:I think it's pretty cool people brought you cards during your performance even if they probably could not see or hear the direct result of it.
Thank you! I was surprised how popular it was, hahaha. But I guess that speaks to the audience's desire to engage, whether through dance or direct communication with the performer. I sure didn't hurt that I was standing right there and people could walk up and observe closely. The biggest change I would make is to discourage people from laying the cards down directly on my keyboard :roll:

The event organizers just sent me some cool photos!

Image

Image

Image

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Post by deepblackjoe@gmail.com » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:53 am

Nice. The bongo sounds are so convincing. getting any participation out of an audience can be maddening

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Post by lisa » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:59 am

Clever idea! I would never have thought of it myself but I can see how it'd actually work really well. You engage people infinitely more than a normal electronic set would but since you've written the instructions yourself they fit your thinking and shouldn't be too hard to follow. Very, very clever! :tu:
My first modular track where I used drum modules! There's also a ton of FM cross modulation from the Instruō Cš-L in there and the Metasonix R56 is a big part of the sound. :star:



We also just did a live performance. Just eurorack, a mixer and two nitwits. :hyper: http://tiny.cc/8ndspz

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Post by 13isaacz1 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:22 pm

Honestly what a sick idea! I also loved the set, awesome sounds you're getting there! You should be proud :)

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Post by magnetsandlasers » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:46 pm

13isaacz1 wrote:Honestly what a sick idea! I also loved the set, awesome sounds you're getting there! You should be proud :)
Thanks! I just got a Beatstep Pro and after spending a weekend with it, I can tell you it is going to be a game changer. More of this coming soon!

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Post by 3hands » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:09 pm

I’m loving this! I’ve done something similar doing a closed jam and having a series of tables with various instruments on it, and inviting people to come up and tweak on the go. The card idea is fantastic!!!
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Post by cretaceousear » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:34 am

Great, enjoyed that!
Me and my bandmates tried something with coloured cards - the band had to learn a micro phrase for four colours. Then I'd wave a card at a player so that person would play red while the rest were on blue and so on - an idiot version of Eno's pointing at random chords on a blackboard when recording Lodger. The audience of one ROFL ed.
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Re: Audience participation technique

Post by versipellis » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:11 am

This is the coolest eurorack live performance I've seen in a while.
magnetsandlasers wrote:This was a general-interest gig: we had an anarchist folk band, a guy singing weird songs with a bowed bass, a throat singer, a Dead Can Dance-sounding trio, and me. So not a lot of people familiar with modular.
Maybe a suggestion for the future would be cards that are more understandable to your audience. I'm not sure generally how educated or knowledgeable your audience is with music/production, even if not specifically modular, but "Modulate rhythm banks" could be pretty cryptical sounding :P
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Re: Audience participation technique

Post by cretaceousear » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:41 am

versipellis wrote: "Modulate rhythm banks" could be pretty cryptical sounding :P
Yeah I was thikning that too - Eno's Oblique Strategy card are perhaps too far the opposite extreme.
Maybe "Do heavy metal", "Make it like a nursery rhyme", "Can we visit the outer planets" :tu:
..the vessel was heavier because “dead sheep do not have the same weight as the live ones”

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Re: Audience participation technique

Post by magnetsandlasers » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:38 pm

versipellis wrote:This is the coolest eurorack live performance I've seen in a while.
Thank you! I'm truly honored :party:
versipellis wrote:"Modulate rhythm banks" could be pretty cryptical sounding :P
Haha yes, I was going for the inscrutable. Or oblique, at the least! :tu: For one thing, I had the set pretty well planned out so I wrote the cards more for my own understanding or interpretation. Some of them were kind of generic and I would use again ("Breathe"), but some of them were very specific to that patch. The "modulate rhythm banks" one, for example, is explicitly for the bongo/conga samples and refers to the rate of the LFO that is controlling sample selection. As for the audience's understanding of what was going on, I think a bit of mystery inspires their own imaginations. The feeling of participation is sometimes more evocative than anything. If you're interested in how the patch evolved, see my Bandcamp below or this video for the practice session I recorded before breaking everything down for travel:

[video][/video]
cretaceousear wrote:Maybe "Do heavy metal", "Make it like a nursery rhyme", "Can we visit the outer planets"
I like the outer planets idea, that's going into the deck for sure!

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Post by minigmgoit » Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:31 am

I played my first gig on Thursday night. I dropped some mangled amen that I utterly destroyed and shouted "ave some of that you slags" at the top of my lungs. The place went mental. Audience participation

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Post by magnetsandlasers » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:32 pm

minigmgoit wrote:I played my first gig on Thursday night. I dropped some mangled amen that I utterly destroyed and shouted "ave some of that you slags" at the top of my lungs. The place went mental. Audience participation
:nana:

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Post by jamos » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:05 pm

Ummmmmm wow. Just stumbled across this... very nice!

*Please* let me know next time you play locally!
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Post by magnetsandlasers » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:17 pm

jamos wrote:Ummmmmm wow. Just stumbled across this... very nice!

*Please* let me know next time you play locally!
Thanks! If you’re on Facebook, search for Woke-Ass Messiah. Also I’m down to jam so PM me if you’re interested!

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Post by codabass » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:28 pm

dude, this was so awesome! gonna follow you on youtube ;)

one thing to keep in mind.. what people are hungry for is to hear sounds they never heard before... you sure delivered!

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Post by magnetsandlasers » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:35 pm

codabass wrote:dude, this was so awesome! gonna follow you on youtube ;)

one thing to keep in mind.. what people are hungry for is to hear sounds they never heard before... you sure delivered!
Thanks, friend! Say hi on YT and I'll follow ya back :cloud:

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Post by red-tin-dave » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:18 am

hlprmnky wrote: ... it reminds me of Brian Eno's "Oblique Strategies", but instead of a way to break through a creative logjam on a more in-the-studio headspace, a way for the audience to interact. .....
Exactly what I thought.
I use the Oblique Strategies when I'm DJ's sometimes but hadn't thought of using cards for audience participation - would make a great alternative to fielding daft requests!

I love the idea and it helped produce a great set too!

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Post by Lacer » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:39 am

I love this idea of audience participation! :yay:

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Post by magnetsandlasers » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:27 pm

red-tin-dave wrote:
I love the idea and it helped produce a great set too!
Lacer wrote:I love this idea of audience participation! :yay:
Thanks fellas!

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