The streaming music phenomenon has, for me, quickly grown stale. A musician playing alone in a room through my screen is a wan and tiresome experience, no sense of touch of course but also no sense of live tension. The mediation of the computer and internet renders everything artificial. A few ensemble performances have been better, just for having musicians playing together in person, and archival stuff always works because there’s the inherent knowledge and expectations of a concert/opera film.
Still, give this Conrad Tao set, going up live 7pm EST, May 7, a try. He’s an exciting and imaginative musician, he throws himself into what he’s doing, he’s full of surprises, AND he knows his way around digital technology. The program promises “acoustic and electroacoustic” elements, and he’s going to be improvising and playing off music by the likes of Mompou and Ruth Crawford Seeger. So, why not, you got other plans?