loving this thread so far, it’s ones like this that really reaffirm my interest in the community aspect of electronic music
so i figured i’d chime in with my experience as an “electronic musician” since i really relate to this topic. i’m a drummer-turned-guitarist who is self-taught and i more or less come from the generally obtuse and unforgiving school of “cutting my teeth on playing in loud grindcore/experimental bands”. still involved in that sort of thing, playing mostly drums in a few projects. that being said, i picked up an interest in playing guitar as my primary musical focus around 2012 and jumped headlong into working with unconventional tunings, playing techniques, etc. it didn’t take long before i was buying pedals, expanding the sound palette and moving away from “grating and dissonant” toward “dense and melancholic”. (the artists that inspire me the most tend to be bands, so aspiring to the heights that groups like GY!BE reach in terms of sound and orchestration is a bit of a challenge when working alone, but a welcome one.)
for as long as i’ve been playing guitar, i’ve been really interested in polyphony. making the most out of the limited capabilities of the instrument, incorporating as many strings as possible when selecting chords, finding ways to sustain them for long periods of time, layering them on top of each other, playing them at unreasonable volume, and so on. this practice carried over into my subsequent interest in hardware synths, synth design + architecture, sampling, hardware sound processors and effects, and eventually eurorack.
when i first started learning about synthesis i was absolutely starry-eyed at the idea of having lots of oscillators to endlessly tweak which could be played as chords, but quickly learned that analog polysynths are more or less prohibitively expensive, eurorack or otherwise, and was then kinda put off of the idea of being a “synth player”; i was also reticent to invest a bunch of time and money into learning a whole new instrument in the process, since i was still in the midst of exploring the possibilities of the guitar and becoming more comfortable playing it. this is, however, around the time that MI Clouds was in development/being teased out slowly on boards, demos were appearing here and there, and it occurred to me that what i lacked in funds for an infinitely expandable polysynth, i could potentially make up for with the possibility eurorack provides when it comes to configurable sound processing. i’d learned all the fundamentals of the format already from combing synth forums for a few years, and had a strong grasp on manipulating my instrument of choice from explorations into live guitar processing, shoegaze-esque techniques, looping and sampling, etc.
anyways, cut to today, and i still spend most of my musical energy on developing ways of integrating guitar into a primarily “live electronics” workflow; an assortment of gear that i’ve cobbled together over several years to make dense soundscapes and collages with.
i guess i just wanted to share since i haven’t come across many other folks with such a rediculous and varied assortment of hardware pieces working together for the purpose of real-time sound collage that uses a more traditional instrument as the sound source. i do sometimes envy folks with a more unified “format” for approaching this though, whether it be all euro, just a laptop, a pedalboard, or otherwise, and it’s been really insightful reading about others’ techniques here!
i unfortunately don’t have any formal releases to share (way too self-conscious to put out any recordings, for now at least), but i do have some clips on my instagram (i’m also “bellemnop” on there), and pretty much all of them are manipulated guitar unless otherwise noted. sorry this is such a long post but also thank you for reading if you’ve got this far haha, i can get carried away since this topic is near and dear to my heart!