Technology has had a huge impact on music. It’s made us play steadier (I would argue even when not playing to a click). It’s allowed us to use samples. It’s let us loop in real time. It’s let us use loops, or play sync’d to other tracks. It’s let us auto-tune in real time. And it’s allowed us to program sequences that were otherwise unplayable. All of this has changed our ear – the way we hear music.
One group (Dawn of MIDI) has responded to this by playing acoustic music live that otherwise would seem like it was programmed. They do this by playing crazy meters, time-with-in-a-time where different people play different meters at the same time and it somehow works, that you wouldn’t think people could play. And they do this by playing intricate and repetitive patterns that, ok is indeed minimalist like Steve Reich, but is normally the domain of machines. Humans are unpredictable and random, machines are anything but.
Technology can inform our music. Integrating cultural influences such as these allows us to speak into that culture, they give us that platform for doing so. But practically how could that translate?
In a live situation, most typically this can mean integrating programmed loops or tracks. In a studio situation this can be a lot more intricate, and can mean being aware of technology and what is happening.