Human machine music

an analysis of creative practices among Australian ‘live electronica’ musicians


  • Barry Hill Southern Cross University
  • Jon Fitzgerald Southern Cross University



live electronica, electronic dance music, music technology, performance, creative practice


This article presents a participant–observer documentation and analysis of creative practices among a group of contemporary Australian musicians working within the field of ‘live electronica’ (LE)—defined as electronic dance music (EDM) performed for an audience in real time by a group of musicians without the aid of machine/computer-controlled sound generation sequences. Australian LE emerged in the 1990s and went through a period of development during the first decade of the twenty-first century, as live performers dealt with challenges and opportunities associated with digital music technology and EDM. The article examines how LE musicians responded to various technological, social and economic changes by developing innovative creative processes and music industry practices, and argues that LE musicians have played a significant role in the ‘humanizing’ of EDM performance.

Author Biographies

Barry Hill, Southern Cross University

Barry Hill is Senior Lecture and Course Coordinator, Contemporary Music Program.

Jon Fitzgerald, Southern Cross University

Jon Fitzgerald is Adjunct Associate Professor in Contemporary Music.


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How to Cite

Hill, B., & Fitzgerald, J. (2013). Human machine music: an analysis of creative practices among Australian ‘live electronica’ musicians. Perfect Beat, 13(2), 161–180.