i think a large part of any performance are expectations- what the audience thinks they are going to experience and what you actually want to present them. then a large part of the craft/art of a successful performance is how those 2 things meet in the middle. more specifically, you want the audience to be receptive to whatever it is that you want them to experience. and usually a good way to get them to have an open mind to what you want to do, is to acknowledge their initial expectations and then break that… kind of reset them back to zero somehow.
personally i don’t find this game to be a bad thing. on the contrary, i think its an opportunity to really make the performance stand out if you can get the audience on your side relatively quickly. and for sure the techniques to do this might not be hard at all- could even be a photo on the event poster or a tag-line or sub-title. or the name of your band itself can do enough to address a certain expectation and communicate how you will fill that role (or otherwise).
i studied this problem of “playing live” for a long time before composing my reactable set. i think i came to the same conclusion as many others here, that the best i could hope for is that the audience would think that the music was live, happening in that moment. beyond that, in terms of them understanding exactly how the music was being created… it was more than i could handle in that project. however, while reading articles and watching videos to see how everyone else deals with this, i came across a fascinating paper which spoke about the subject of time on stage. more specifically it got weird when speaking about video projection- of how we see a video being projected that is clearly in the moment, but if its a “movie” then its probably been previously recorded. and yet we still get some sort of sense of “live” from this video. and of course mixing this with a live video feed… we somehow give video a certain sense of authority and authenticity where we more easily accept jumps in time or different rhythms of time.
all of this to say that, tilting a controller might be one small technique to help address what the artist perceives to be a barrier between what they want the audience to get out of the performance, and what they think the audience will expect in that specific context? personally i always try to make production decisions based upon the artistic process of the work involved. maybe its a failed game, but most of the time at the least i get more confidence and probably give a better effort. so i’ll try to think of the way i came up with whatever i am presenting, how those choices were made. and then i’ll try to think of applying those choices (in concept) to the lighting, costume, sound design, etc.
i’m glad daedelus finds it useful to tilt his controller… what really confuses me is that he uses a towel to do it! he seems into building a certain aesthetic, carefully choosing what he wears, and taking care to show the audience the grid. i guess lots of times the towel is hidden under the 256, but i’ve seen tons of video and photos where the rolled up edges are sticking out on either side!