By Nicolas E Gold, on 17 November 2014
At the UCL DigiFest 2014 (ucldigifest.org), the Music Systems Engineering Research Team led by Dr Nicolas Gold (UCL Computer Science/UCLDH) ran a 1.5hr session for people interested in digital music. Participants learned about building digital instruments using the Pure Data programming language, explored the sonic possibilities of synthesised sounds, and then came together as a laptop orchestra to perform a new work composed by one of the team.
Laptop orchestras are an emerging type of ensemble (beginning about ten years ago with Princeton’s PLOrk) characterised by novel musical controllers, custom-built digital instruments, and hemispherical speakers that give each instrumentalist a strong sense of their own instrument and how it fits within the orchestra. In keeping with this tradition, the UCL Laptop Orchestra (UCLOrk) uses custom-built hemispheres that were constructed by the Computer Science Department’s Technical Support Group.
We are hoping to make the ensemble a more permanent group as a platform for artistic work and performance research. More information can be found at bit.ly/UCL-UCLOrk and anyone interested in future participation is warmly invited to contact Nicolas Gold (email@example.com) for more information.