« on: June 03, 2010, 05:13:29 PM »
I have no problem with someone using a laptop and controllers live - if that's what's required to get their sound across and if they're actually re-rendering the material on the fly in some way. Some musicians are doing very interesting things with home made patches and sequencers in a live setting and I've been to lots of beautifully intense gigs involving laptops. In some ways, I find witnessing that just as exciting as great musicians interacting on traditional instruments, because I'm not there to watch some visual demonstration of musical athleticism but instead to listen to fresh sounds.
Obviously, context is important, and these things can be done tastelessly. Miming, for example, is awful, and I find using computers to replace acoustic instruments or things that could be played by other musicians rather despicable. I also think that some live playing by electronic musicians is karaoke-like, but not for the reasons that the author stated. Some electronic musicians, for example, have the laptop playing almost everything, but arbitrarily play one part themselves and occasionally pepper that with a tap on a drum machine here and a squirt from another machine there and plucks on guitar there. I would personally rather they dumped all those bits and bobs that perhaps look more impressive or live to onlookers - and instead explore ways of meaningfully and substantially changing the sounds being spewed out from the computer on the computer itself. Or, as some have been doing, combining that live computer-driven process with more traditional and blatantly live playing on 'proper' instruments.