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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Audience participation technique
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars  
Author Audience participation technique
magnetsandlasers
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:



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 d'oh!

hlprmnky
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. smile
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.
magnetsandlasers
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” It's peanut butter jelly time!
beautyofdecay_
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.
magnetsandlasers
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 meh

The event organizers just sent me some cool photos!





deepblackjoe@gmail.com
Nice. The bongo sounds are so convincing. getting any participation out of an audience can be maddening
lisa
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! thumbs up
13isaacz1
Honestly what a sick idea! I also loved the set, awesome sounds you're getting there! You should be proud smile
magnetsandlasers
13isaacz1 wrote:
Honestly what a sick idea! I also loved the set, awesome sounds you're getting there! You should be proud smile


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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