Latest news

Hello, L2Orkers!

Gala here, the newest addition to the L2Ork team! 🎉 You’ll be seeing a lot more from me as I dive into sharing all the latest news, events, and exciting developments we’re embarking on.

Mark your calendars! On April 20th and 21st, we’re thrilled to be hosting the very first Pd-L2Ork Hackathon, exclusively for VT students and our HBCU/MSI partners. This event is part of an ICAT & ITCAS Grant award aimed at fostering collaboration between Virginia Tech ICAT projects and HBCU/MSI. We’re focusing on the intersections of art, science, and technology, especially exploring the relationship between music, sound composition, and STEM careers. 🎵💻🔬

Calling all Virginia Tech students! If you’re eager to jump into this unique blend of creativity and innovation, now’s your chance. Register HERE by April 7th to secure your spot—don’t miss out!

For all the nitty-gritty details about the Hackathon, including what to expect, how to get involved, and who to contact with your burning questions, make sure to visit the Hackathon Page.

Can’t wait to see the amazing ideas and collaborations that will come to life! See you there! 🙂

 

2024 L2Ork Tweeter Hackathon

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A Perfect Drop

Today marks an important milestone for L2Ork and its half-dozen brave L2Orkists. This evening we premiered our very first crowdsourced work written for the newfound L2Ork Tweeter platform and did so online with the ensemble members residing hundreds of miles away from each other, yet delivering that perfect “drop” (check out the 03:13 mark in the video).

Like every other aspect of the work, its title “Into the Abyss” is a result of a truly crowdsourced effort that describes both its literal and figurative meanings. Due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, both L2Orkists and Ico had to take a leap of faith in exploring the newfound platform and seeking new forms of musical expression. The piece is also split into three sections filled with leitmotifs, exploring eerie moments before a literal leap off an imaginary cliff into an abyss, the fall, and finally plunge into the water and a discovery that it was all worth it. This unprecedented semester was also a particularly emotional journey, realizing that any repeat performance will be possible only for as long as we have this exact group of L2Orkists with their unique talents and contributions, and that it is unlikely we will ever be able to recreate the work as it was presented today again. Even though L2Ork has a long history of experimenting with crowdsourced elements in its works, none of them have ever gone this far.

Today also officially marks a beginning of a new era in the Pd-L2Ork development, which for the past several years evolved into the Purr-Data effort. Today, we are pleased to announce that not only is Pd-L2Ork back. It’s new release is also imminent. In fact, pre-release versions of the new Pd-L2Ork are already available on the L2Ork Tweeter page given that the latest version of Tweeter requires its latest updates, the official release of the next stable version is scheduled in the next couple of weeks. Until then, we wish you a safe and restful Holiday season and look forward to a New Year!

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L2Ork Tweeter Alpha Test and L2Orkist Reunion

It’s been a while since we’ve posted news on our main site, in good part because we’ve been voicing ourselves mostly via Facebook. Today, however, things are different. A whole lot different. The world is facing an unprecedented pandemic, and we felt like we had to do something to help us all get through these tough times. While we may not be good at developing a vaccine, what we are good at is connecting people. And connect people we shall. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce a free collaborative online laptop music making tool whose brevity has inspired its name.

L2Ork Tweeter (formerly known as L2Orkmatic) is a free open source, collaborative, and cross-platform laptop orchestra telematic (online) jamming tool destined to bring current, past, and aspiring L2Orkists and the community members closer through music. Driven by a simple FM synthesis engine and a loop-based 64-note tracker that runs locally, it aims to minimize the impact of the network latency inherent to online collaboration. The system allows for basic server admin, presence of both performers and guests/observers/audience, includes a chat system, as well as a way for sharing instrument presets, tracker loops, and even entire sessions. It also offers an offline mode where users can create their own works, or enhance the existing ones. So, head to the L2Ork Tweeter page to learn how to install your own free copy and start jamming today!

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Manu Delago

Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts in collaboration with the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, the West Ambler Johnston Residential College, Digital Interactive Sound & Intermedia Studio (DISIS), and the Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork) are pleased to announce a guest performance by the world-renown Hang player, percussionist, producer and composer Manu Delago. Manu’s performance will also feature internationally accomplished multi-instrumentalist artist Isa Kurz, as well as Virginia Tech’s Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork). A part of a larger US tour, the concert is scheduled for April 20th @ 730p in the Virginia Tech Cube. Tickets are $15 adults, $12 seniors, and $7 students. Click here to purchase tickets. Please note Cube has a capacity of approximately 100 to 120 seats.

 

As part of Manu’s 3-day Virginia Tech’s residence, in addition to rehearsing with L2Ork, Manu Delago will also present a talk and a master class for students, faculty, as well as community members. Below is the schedule breakdown:

  • April 18th 130-220pm Lecture and Master Class in DISIS (Newman 121)
  • April 19th 1-3pm Presentation in the West Ambler Johnston Residential College Great Hall
  • April 20th 730pm Performance in the Moss Arts Center Cube (buy tickets)

 

What others have said about Manu:

“Amazing percussionist and Hang player” Björk
“Intriguingly beautiful… A mercurial sound indeed” – DJ Mag
“A man with a head full of ideas”
– Songlines
“Captivating and compelling… truly mesmerising”
– i-D
“An incredible musician in everything he plays”
– Nitin Sawhney
“A masterful and sensitive musician”
– The Telegraph

Stay tuned for more details regarding Manu’s visit and additional opportunities for engagement. In the meantime, check out Manu’s recent music video below:

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Welcome to 2018

Over the past several years most of the L2Ork’s activity shifted to the social media channels, most notably the Facebook. L2Ork has continued to grow and develop. This semester we have 15 members. We are developing a new affordable controller (a.k.a. NIME) that will enable greater expressive range. In the fall 2016 we introduced World’s first Raspberry Pi (RPi) Orchestra, starting with an arrangement of Brian Eno’s An Ending (Ascent). We also began exploring broader aesthetics–with the introduction of the RPi Orchestra, we discovered one of our former members Savannah Allen having an amazing talent for rap which has led to L2Ork’s first Rap piece L2Orkin’ Around with the lyrics by Savannah (check out the excerpt here). Most recently, we have been gearing up for a premiere of a new piece inspired by the Alien franchise that also utilizes an accompanying video footage. The plan was to premiere it today as part of the annual Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts scholarship fundraiser concert titled Exposition: Cinescapes. Alas, due to a major snow storm, or what some refer to as snowpocalypse, the event was cancelled. As a result, the Alien will be premiered at the Spring DISIS event.

For those seeking pd-l2ork, rest assured, the project is alive and well. Thanks to the efforts of Jonathan Wilkes and Albert Graef its development has shifted to the 2.x branch that now supports all major platforms and uses Node.js for all its GUI needs. There is still work left to be done before we completely abandon the 1.x branch, most notably the K12 module that remains to be ported. This summer, pd-l2ork has been selected as one of the Google Summer of Code projects. The deadline for application is only day away, but there is still time to apply. For students interested in participating, please subscribe and post your interest on the l2ork-dev mailing list.

This summer, Virginia Tech SOPA and DISIS in collaboration with ICAT, as well as University of Virginia are proudly sponsoring New Interfaces for Musical Expression 2018 international conference. For more info, visit NIME 2018 website.

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements coming soon!

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