The author argues that significant aspects of electronic music performance have been diminished in the rush to incorporate the latest, often discreet (as in intentionally unobtrusive) technologies. He identifies these aspects as agency, ritual and, to a lesser extent, serendipity and mess. Using references to his own work, he suggests that applying an understanding of how actors create totems to present agency and affordance is essential to regain, and possibly acclimate, these tools and practices so they are relevant to live electronic music performance practice in a contemporary technology environment.

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