Thursday, January 10, 2008

Irwin Music: Drummer Brings Performance back to Electronic Music


Ableton Live and Irwin at SAE Institute of Music Los Angeles

I really enjoy live music and computer music, but a large portion of the "concerts" I've been to with both involve a bunch of people sitting down, not facing the audience, appearing to twiddle a few knobs. Yeah, the idea is probably to get lost in the sound (and/or the effects of drugs, if you're into that), and geek out at all the cool toys. And sure, there might be a cool projected screensaver going on in the background (possibly being performed by a VJ) but come on, don't you enjoy seeing people playing instruments?

A few months ago I went to an Ableton Live User's Group meeting in Hollywood, and was excitedly surprised to see the above performance. Of course a video can't really capture the energy of the room, but it gives you a good idea. (If you look very closely you can see fuzzy me in the audience).

Irwin is using some Roland V-Drums (professional versions of the electronic drums I blogged about earlier), a drum trigger pad, a theremin, a special box that converts the theremin's continuous tone into discrete MIDI events, and an Apple Black Macbook running Ableton Live. Things get very hectic on his second set -- he's playing high speed drum n' bass music LIVE. Nice!

There's just something about banging physical objects that beats knob-twiddling or fader-sliding any day.

If you're in Los Angeles and interested in making electronic music, check out the next Ableton Live User Group meeting on January 31st, 8 PM @ SAE on 6565 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood.

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posted by Brian at 12:39 PM

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