I perform an eclectic mix of live music. I have developed a unique and innovative electronic instrumentation that allows me to perform music totally live. I don't use any pre-recorded devices or sequencing.
Performing music live is the fundamental principle upon which I have based my musical life on. Now, what's the difference between "McRorie-Vivres Electronique " the musician and a machine? If you input the same parameters into a machine it will always reproduce the exact same result. But even the best musician will not be able to reproduce the same song and composition 100% identically without some variations. Some of these happen accidentally and some of them are well intended. These deviations and digressions make the music become alive and "human".
For quite some time I have been striving to build a bridge between electronic sound generation and live performance. The goal was not only to create an instrument that would sound good, it should also be playable in real-time with musical expressiveness. After years of development I have succeeded in creating this instrumentation. By using the technique of coordinated independence, I have over the years put together an original and innovative electronic instrumentation of keyboards and sensors to sing and play all the parts of a musical composition in real time.
Three decades of relentless experimentation, development, dedication, practise and persistence finally led to the instrumentation and performance I am presenting now. I am extremely happy with the way it sounds, looks and performs. This instrumentation is a joy and a pleasure to play. I can create a wide range of sonic environments that are truly states of bliss to entertain, perform, and create live music.
One of my areas of interest is the intersection between music and technology, and particularly in the way I as a musician interacts with my instrumentation. Musicians are creative and subversive people, we do things with instruments and equipment that you don't expect! And to that end I have been interested in creating an augmented instrumentation and soundscape that I can develop and explore - Vivres Electronique (To live music electronically). The idea is not to replace the role of myself as the musician, but rather to extend the capabilities of electronic instruments and sensors to enhance the creative opportunities for me as a musician.
My family owned and operated a music store and school in Edmonton. I was immersed in the wonderful world of music from an early age and I learned to sing, play drums, accordion, vibes, and even took tap. In my teens I sold percussion instruments and drums at the store and taught drums at the music school. I performed on television and in concert with our family band "The Taitums", sang tenor with the Highlands United church choir and and became a percussionist with the Edmonton youth orchestra. I definitely had a great and enjoyable musical youth.
It was my fascination and love for poly rhythms that led to the study of advanced techniques for the modern drummer called coordinated independence. Mastering this technique allowed me to play more than one rhythm at once. These skills in combination with an innate ability and desire to focus and complete my own form of musical expression would later become an asset in which I could evolve and complete my own unique form of musical endeavors and ideas.
When the music store was sold I was out of a job and of a place to practise. My desire to learn new ideas on the drums and vibes was so intense that I got permission to live in an abandoned building in downtown Edmonton where I could practice and woodshed. A year later I continued my studies by renting a parking stall in Old Strathcona and practised and lived in an orange 1972 Ford cube van and used the Kinsmen Field House as an exercise center. In solitude and practise I could nurture my love for rhythm and melody. Finally I could have some peace away from the hell life had become.
I supported myselfby drumming and singing with a local Edmonton band called Good Tymes Review doing weekend cabaret gigs. Within a year I had created a new band called "Strait" with myself on drums, my brother Richard on guitar and my sister Catherine on bass. It was a really good power trio with all three of us singing' and rocking' out. At the suggestion of Richard I started playing synth keyboards and drums together to fill out the sound of the band. Again, this was a great way to use and practice coordinated independence and pursue some new musical ideas.
That fun gig lasted for about a year and then my sister Cat and I moved to Vancouver with a new guitarist Ron Ulrich. I ended up playing in several West Coast rock bands ,Max, Profit, etc. as a drummer vocalist and performed my first solo gig as a vibes player and singer. I re-formed "Strait" as a five-piece band, and as members gradually left, I took over their musical parts by singing and playing drums and keyboards at the same time. When the band was down to just two members, myself and guitarist-cellist Corby Keep, it was renamed "Meet Men Not Machines" in keeping with the duo's live music philosophy and ideal.
Finally, I decided to continue my music career alone, combining my passion for live music performance and technology to create an innovative and unique instrumentation that would enable me to perform all the sounds of a musical composition live. No machines, no tapes and no sequencers, totally live music!
The instrumentation and musical ideal has evolved over the years and I now use practical and innovative midi controllers that are incredible and responsive to perform with. I use sensors and the iCubex wiMicrodig from Infusion systyems that allow me to perform drum and percussive sounds as well as implementing midi control changes. The Starr Labs Zb6 for my left hand is an amazing wearable isomorphic keyboard using a 6X24 matrix of force sensitive keys offset by a fourth. The Linnstrument for my right hand is an incredible and revolutionary expressive MIDI controller for musical performance. Unlike the simple on/off switches of a standard MIDI keyboard, LinnStrument's RGB-backlit note pads sense each finger's subtle movements in five ways, enabling musical performance expression rivaling that of fine acoustic instruments. The recent addition of the wearable cyborg looking Exo-midi controller and the Roli lightpad block to my instrumentation completed my wireless live electronic performance concept.
Years of dedication, persistence and hard work has brought forth the completion of my music istrumentation idea.
I use my voice for lead vocals, harmony and lead instruments. The awesome sound possibilities of my live electronic instrumentation also created a totally unique Vivres Electronique look and style. I have tried to improve the sound of my show and this led me to using Mainstage in my live show and for live recording. Because I perform alone I use the Max/Jitter program to interact in real time with video projections to create a more interesting and live visual environment on stage. I have performed as a solo performer for the last 32 years. Over these years my concept for performing and recording live music has steadily evolved and improved. Learning new techniques, skills and abilities as a musician along with the application of new technologies created new opportunities for my original musical ideas. I have performed as "McRorie" at clubs, colleges, fairs and festivals all across Canada and in the U.S. and appeared on several national television shows. Over time I have forged a unique musical identity by drawing from influences across the musical spectrum. It is this passion for live music combined with determination, commitment, skill and innovation that has allowed me to create and develop my own unique musical instrumentation and style.
For booking information contact Rockin Rodney
1 204 982 7664