L2Ork

by gregtronel

“L2Ork” (http://l2ork.music.vt.edu/main/) was established in May 2009 by Dr Ivica Ico Bukvic as part of the Virginia Tech Music Department’s Digital Interactive Sound & Intermedia Studio (DISIS). Their main intention was to couple traditional instruments with new accessible technologies, through a network of independently controlled laptops. Its primary focus, unlike other known laptop orchestras such as PLOrk (Princeton) and SLOrk (Standford), is on a more developed corporal presence and physical performance. They opted for a Nintendo Wiimote as the “sound modulator” device in order to gain greater motion range and agility as well as additional functions (analog joystick, IR camera, multiple buttons…), whereas PLOrk and SLOrk rely on accelerometers built into their hardware. In an article from http://turbulence.org, Helen Thorington states: “The standardized use of Wiimote controllers and their extensions establishes an embodied performance and visual indexing of each laptop performer’s sound influenced by traditional instrumental performance gestures to control synthesized digital sound as well as captured acoustic audio samples in composed and improvised contexts.” Each performer also uses a hemispherical speaker to generate a local “existence” of sound proper to each performing spot. L2Ork behaves as a complex musical realm where improvisation, physical gestures and technology allow the creation of interesting musical experiences. The creative process comes with an interactive exchange of ideas and conceptions among tightly networked individuals of different backgrounds and capabilities. Diversity, technology and music making in a social environment often lead to fun and original performances!
Example of their work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFt4MgN7JPQ&feature=player_embedded

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