Live at Raw Sugar, solo

Posted on June 18, 2010

So yesterday I mentioned that I somehow blundered my way into a show, by myself, at the venerable Raw Sugar Cafe.  Today I will tell you, or show you, what happened.

So what did I do?  Well, not being an actual performing musician (a significant impediment on the road toward musical performances) I employed a vast army of machines to assist me.  In a nutshell I gave an improvised performance of analog-style step sequencing (using a program called Numerology) driving several synthesizers and a couple of drum machines.  My main instruments were two Moog Voyagers and a DSI PolyEvolver.  These are wonderful little devices, let me tell you…

Step sequencing essentially allows you to send an arbitrary number of signals to a music making machine, at regular intervals, and allows you to change the value of each of those signals.  Think Kraftwerk.  I ran a bunch of sequences on top of each other, which I messed with, and then altered the sounds of the synthesizers in realtime.  I also sang a bit and played guitar through a pitchshifer/delay.  But why read this when you can see for yourself?  Thanks to David Yip for filming the event!

I’ll admit that I was 50% convinced that the whole thing would be a debacle of epic proportions, and that it would be a debacle played out to a wholly empty venue.  Fortunately neither of these fears materialized.  A solid crowd appeared, somehow, and in my view I pulled it off and then some.  It was very enjoyable to go into the thing with only the sketchiest of plans and have it actually play out almost exactly as I’d intended.  Phew!

And the true shocker…  they want to have me back to do it again.  Really.  To my mind that goes beyond routine “yeah it was a great show, sure” politeness.  Yes!  So sometime later this summer I’ll be at it again, only much MUCH bigger and better.  Count on it.  And this time I’ll even promote it slightly more than emailing five people two days before the show.

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