THE HUMAN TOUCH: FIVE FUTURISTIC CONTROLLERS RECONNECTING MUSICIANS WITH MACHINES
WORDS BY Laurent Fintoni
Our recent live music roundtable underlined the importance of ‘humanity’ in electronic music performances.
Despite appearances, it’s not quite ‘rise of the machines’ out there just yet. While plenty of people are content with live shows that are by-and-large pre-programmed and leave little room for error, thus being more akin to live dubbing or DJ sets than live music per se, our conversation with Scanner, debruit, Comfort Fit and Archie Pelago underlined the importance of human error and control in modern music performance. And what better way to bring this to audiences – both sonically and visually – than with new types of controllers and instruments?
There are plenty of controllers out there that allow musicians to control laptops and hardware in the studio and on stage, though some of the most interesting progress with regards to their evolution is coming from the fringes. A perfect example of this is the monome, a custom-built controller that has grown over the past decade to encompass a worldwide community of users and creators, with perhaps its most famous live exponent being Daedelus, who uses it for his own live shows.