I think they’re trying to escape the laptop performer paradigm. If people can see that there is a skill involved they might be more likely to accept a midi controller as a legitimate instrument (which it is!).
yes, that’s most certainly the point of it. Though maybe one doesn’t have to prove anything in the first place.
I’ve tried tilting push away from me to practice but it is really awkward to use.
I think that’s probably what puts me off when I see it, it looks like it’s something awkward to use. But I haven’t really played with anything close to a grid controller in years and have never tried something like that (though I’ve seen people do that with keyboards as well… though that always gets a bit of keytar feeling)
Showing your working makes it clear you’re making choices; clear that this is deliberate sound.
Yes. I totally agree with this (and with the rest of your post). I found myself in many electronic music gigs, where I could not connect with the musicians, because this wasn’t given. It always makes me wonder why one would just play a record instead.
One example was Mouse on Mars at Superbooth, one of them was mostly tweaking the mixer, the other one was leaning over the table and messing around with his smartphone. The mixer part is ok, you could somehow guess what he was doing, but the smartphone part was really a good example of how not to play a gig live. There was nothing indicating that he was making choices that would influence the music, or making anything in general.
Another extreme example:
Last week I saw Tim Hecker, and he played in the total darkness with lots of smoke and lights shining through the smoke. You didn’t see him, nor what he was doing. It was just you, the coloured lights and the music. The sound quality was pretty bad unfortunately, which ruined the thing a bit, but I kind enjoyed the choice of hiding the performance. Even though it made me wonder about wy he set it up as a performance in the first place. It was really bordering with an acousmatic “playback”, that would not have needed a performer at all. I guess this works only if you see it once, the second time it would already become an annoyance.
Anyway, I only mentioned this because it probably was the exact opposite of “showing that choices are being made”, and while I didn’t find it too bad, it also showed all the weaknesses of “hiding the performance”.
The main reason I started this thread is because I am thinking a lot about how to perform, how to make the performance move “live” and enable people to connect with what we are doing on stage, so thanks for all the infos and inputs… and of course, feel free to add more!