Besides an amazing collection of neckties, there are many things the cofounder and host of Piqued, Korey Luna, are known for. One interview question in particular has been a mainstay in his repertoire, "So tell us a little bit about your setup tonight."
It's a straightforward question but there has been no end to the variations of answers, because the question is not just about hardware. When it comes down to it, it's really about the artist and their approach to a live performance.
A performer's approach to preparing for a live electronic music show is all about prioritizing familiarity, creativity, adaptability, collaboration, and having a backup plan.
- Familiarity: The artist should be familiar with the equipment they are using to avoid technical difficulties during the performance. It's important to practice with the equipment before the show to ensure a seamless performance.
- Creativity: The performer should have the ability to create unique and innovative sounds using their equipment. This may involve experimenting with different settings, effects, and techniques to create a signature sound that sets them apart from other performers.
- Adaptability: The artist should be able to adapt to different venues and performance spaces. This may involve adjusting the equipment or setup to accommodate different acoustics, lighting, and audience sizes.
- Collaboration: If the performer is collaborating with other musicians or artists, they should consider how their equipment integrates with the equipment of other performers. This may involve coordinating equipment setups or making adjustments to accommodate other performers' needs.
- Backup plan: Finally, the artist should have a backup plan in case of technical difficulties or equipment failure during the performance. This may involve having spare equipment or having a plan in place to quickly address any issues that arise.
During the first Piqued live show Korey asked Musicalfungus about his process and approach to a live performance:
My process is an audio stream of consciousness really.
I utilize the modular system as a blank canvas, to output my emotion through sound essentially, I guess is the best way to describe it. When I perform like I said, I like to think of it as a canvas. I like to essentially paint with sound, utilizing harmonics and melodies stacking them on top of each other.
I improvise everything I don't go into it with any sort of sequences or anything set, so you'll see me as I do perform, on my sequencer Renee and on pressure points, I'll be dialing everything in, in real time.
So my sequencers here, and here, you'll see they're running now but throughout the performance you'll see me constantly tweaking all those notes, because I really like to utilize the modular as an instrument.
Not that I have anything against what a lot of people do, which is build a giant patch and just kind of watch it do its thing, I have nothing wrong with that. But I really like to be as tactile as possible and constantly interact with the machine.
Because I find that through improvisation sometimes you really are having a conversation with this machine. You can tell it what to do but there's times where it kind of goes off and does something else, and you get the chance to make the decision.
Do I want to follow where this sound is going? Or I don't want to try and rangle it back and take it to where I want to go.
So it's always an adventure for me, I like it to be an adventure for the people listening, but I like to go on that adventure as well. So that's why I improvise everything and try not to have anything preset.
I mean obviously I have stuff patched, but that's really just a bare-bones, so I don't have to bore you with half an hour of patching in real time. If I had the platform to do it I would love to do a live patch and just start a completely blank canvas, no cables whatsoever, and perform. But I've yet to find that platform as that would take a while to do that, but yeah.
Watch the full interview and performance with Musicalfungus and Matt Biddulph at Piqued 1.