Solo live performance for mobiles and mixer.
01 - First performance, Z Space, 31 July 2014
02 - Over The Edge, KPFA FM, 12 February 2016
I never took to using laptops for live performances, but touchscreen mobiles made their way into my setup instantly, soon taking it over almost completely. The device I carry everywhere with me for communication purposes also contains nearly 100 sound-making apps. Some of these apps are reasonably accurate simulations of synthesizer engines from the last 60 years, a playable history of electronic music. Others deploy these decades-old algoritims in new ways using the touchscreen, resulting in markedly new instruments. After years of envying traditional musicians and the immediacy of their relationships with acoustic instruments, mobiles have crossed the uncanny valley to a sufficient extent while still affording all the modernity that draws me to electronics.
Many of these apps avail themselves not only of the phone's built-in microphone, but also its camera -- in the same way that any application one installs on one's phone can. The intimate relationship one develops with one's musical instrument is tempered by the fact that we are, by choice, carrying tracking devices that are learning our own habits and preferences better than our own memories allow, and uploading them back to curious corporations to resell at will. These are instruments that allow us to express ourselves, and make it impossible to conceal ourselves.
'Monitress' is a solo performance piece that grew out of my conflicted relationship with these mobile devices.