In 2002, rebreather (Christopher DeLaurenti and myself) performed at the Olympia Experimental Music Festival. Our official press blurb said “Abrasive, sparse, ethereal, abrupt, and wistful, rebreather improvise live electronic music from the digital glossolalia of sabotaged consumer electronics, homebrew circuits, and obsolete devices.“
We typically performed using two speakers (stereo), which is standard for most live music performances. Occasionally, though, we’d use four (quadrophonic) or even eight (octophonic) speakers. Our Olympia performance was quadrophonic.
The standard approach for multiple-speaker performances is to maintain balance – an equal amount of energy – between each speaker. rebreather preferred to try to create zones in the room, in which different events were happening, in order to fully utilize the opportunities given us by so much space in the room.
Since most audio equipment expects the user to only work in stereo, we used simple custom wiring (mostly piggybacked adapters from Radio Shack!) to enable us to move sounds around a quadrophonic sound field. One of our guiding principles is to avoid using expensive or state-of-the-art equipment to perform with. We liked the idea that live electronic music should be a simple endeavor, about the will of the performer controlling whatever happened to be at hand, not gadget fetishism.