My first few streams on Twitch were test ones - I'd leave a metronome on and adjust sync, or I'd play with the camera, or I'd test stability.
Since then I've streamed over 65 times. I have recorded 40 of these sessions. I made a little over 100 hours of sounds organised enough to resemble music.
While it's hard to cut through the noise on Twitch, or the noise of internet in general, I didn't set out to win audiences, but to challenge the "lizard", "artist", and "music" parts of my brain, and force myself into a bunch of "what if" musical performance situations, and consider that it's safe to fail.
The results are quite interesting. I've began streaming more consistently, stuck to weekday (night) schedule, and have settled around the 1.5h mark (usually the first 15 minutes are almost empty) for duration.
- This stuff is hard. Keeping at it is hard. But not impossible. It is, however, phenomenally rewarding.
- My core live audience is 3-5 people :) This is enough. The last bit bears repeating.
- They're not concerts, much more they are extended jams, but when there's a little more variety - i.e. if I go through a bunch of sketches/improvs/tunes - it feels better in the end.
- It almost never goes as you expect. It's a mysterious process, it has its own rules, and sometimes state.
- How much fun I'm having seems to correlate strongly to what kind of day I've had and whether, if it's been tough, I've been able to let go of it.
- Going by feel alone is massively fun.
- My brain tunes to a different idea every day - it can be beats, it can be strange sounds and textures, ethereal downtempo meditations, or just pure ambient drones.
- Modular has considerable depth and, with some exceptions, it's safe to assume no two evenings are the same.
- The slow metamorphosis from one state to another can be both testing and hypnotic.
- Pitch and scales are arbitrary. A lot of music theory is basically attempts to formalise and explain in hindsight the various things that people have tried.
- Rhythm is whatever your brain perceives it to be at the time, it may not hold on repeat listens.
- For me the sweet spots of interest are between the various ways in which the equipment is meant to be used. They are not fixed. In every stream I spend most of my time trying to find them.
- Hitting Record is important but there's definitely a correlation between not hitting Record and having more fun. Some subconscious awareness of the process being captured is still there in me and it needs more work.
- Last but not least: it feels intense to be so visible, unscripted, unprepared, just trying out various things and basically being completely vulnerable. I'm very lucky to have a bunch of fellow electronic musicians hang out in the chat. I'm told they occasionally pick up instruments and jam along. 💜