The Resonance of the Cubicle: Laptop Performance in Post-digital Musics

Turner, Tad


Contemporary Music Review 22(4): 81-92.

Language: English

Through recent developments in computer hardware, post-digital composers are now able to perform "live" with relative ease. This opportunity raises the question of how a live post-digital performance might differ from its traditional presentation by recordings. Post-digital music has recently grown from the physical context of the electronic dance club, yet now is mostly isolated from that venue. This article reviews several sites (Internet, symphony hall, art gallery and acousmatic theatre) in which post-digital music is being performed, and discusses the generic constraints imposed by these sites and their typical audiences. The author examines the performative symbolism of the laptop computer and how it is viewed as an "instrument" by both composer and audience alike.