As we prepare for our presentation at this year’s NIME conference (for those attending NIME you can see us during the 130pm demo session later today), it is my great pleasure to announce a new version of Pd-L2Ork programming environment (the backbone of our software infrastructure) featuring the K-12 learning module prototype. Geared specifically towards K-12 students, the newfound module addresses the lack of a robust sound- and music-oriented programming tool for elementary, middle, and high-school students. The current prototype is a first step towards a tiered granular design of learning objects that aim to recontextualize pd-l2ork into a K-12 learning tool. The resulting first iteration offers a limited set of coarse-grained objects geared primarily towards 4th and 5th graders. This, however, has not deterred Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Virginia students participating in the afterschool program from making some quite evolved instruments using Nintendo Wiimotes and their satellite laptop orchestra in less than three sessions 1-hour–a rough-cut video footage of our most recent session with the students after the break.
For more info on Pd-L2Ork see our Software page. To enable the K12 mode, simply start pd-l2ork with the -k12 flag as follows:
I would like to hereby encourage all interested in furthering the said tool to join us on the l2ork-dev mailing list. We are particularly interested in growing a library of coarse-grained objects pertaining to sound generation and signal manipulation. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to like us on our new facebook page ;-)
I can hardly believe it–we are less than two weeks away from the end of the semester. With the SLEO performance barely behind us, L2Ork is now getting ready for its final performance of the 2011-2 season as part of the annual Spring DISIS Event. For additional info visit the DISIS event page or our Facebook event page. And while at it, don’t forget to like us on our new Facebook page ;-) So, here’s the summary of the most relevant info regarding the upcoming performance:
WHAT: Spring DISIS Event featuring L2Ork
WHEN: April 30th, 2012 @ 7:30 pm
WHERE: Squires Studio Theatre
I would also like to use this opportunity to thank our sponsors, ICAT and SOPAC, as well as our partners Kids’ Tech University. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Isn’t it ironic that I would finally find a few moments to blog right on April 1st? Now, who will actually believe anything I write? Add to that earlier prank on our Facebook page and we’re definitely not boding well in the “we’re-not-kidding” department.
So what’s new in the wondrous world of L2Ork? With the new Institute for Creativity, Arts & Technology (ICAT) research engine revving up, things have been particularly intense over the past couple of months. pd-l2ork development has been also intensifying. The latest version (no April fool’s joke) includes intuitive tooltips, infinite undo, an array of GUI improvements, and a revamped Wiimote connectivity.
The most notable development is the upcoming performance at the first international Symposium on Laptop Ensembles & Orchestras that will take place at Louisiana State University April 15-17. L2Ork will be one of the four guest ensembles (also featuring European Bridges Ensemble, LSU’s Laptop Orchestra Louisiana, Mobile Performance Group, and Princeton’s Sideband) performing on April 16th @ 10:30pm in the Varsity Theatre. Hope to see you there!
I am also pleased to report we’ve had two additional publications accepted to conferences, including aforesaid SLEO, and the upcoming NIME conference. One deals with our ongoing work on integrating Taiji mind-body practice, while other is explores our most recent project in collaboration with the Roanoke’s Boys & Girls’ Club of Southwest Vriginia.
The other day, most of the l2orkists added their own signatures on the beams that will soon find their way into the new Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech. The center will also be the home of the aforesaid ICAT. Until I upload the latest photos from my camera, check out our Twitter feed for a photo from the event.
Lastly, on April 30th, L2Ork will be also performing at home in the Studio Theatre as part of the spring 2012 DISIS event. We also have some special guests planned for this event so stay tuned for more exciting updates soon! Until then, happy April Sages day everyone :-)
Yep, it is that time of the year and L2Ork is getting ready for our first mini-tour of the 2012 with following performances and presentations:
February 19th @5pm — University of Maryland Baltimore County
February 20th @12pm — Rutgers University
February 21st @12pm — Temple University
February 21st @2:30pm — A talk at Community College of Philadelphia
Some of the PRis alreadyup, so please make sure to check it out for more detailed info on the events. Hope to see you there!
Apart from the frantic tour preparations, things have been particularly busy on the recruitment front. L2Ork has again grown to over dozen members, many of whom have joined us less than a month ago. Needless to say, last couple of weeks were quite intense as everyone worked hard to get up to speed with the L2Ork repertoire. There are also a number of exciting announcements we would like to make, pertaining to our Spring itinerary as well as other related developments. So, as we work towards our next blog, here’s a quick update for pd-l2ork users. Pd-l2ork now features regular releases of both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. A bunch of updates have been made to improve responsiveness of the user interface and to squash a few lingering bugs and regressions and the latest version released earlier today is making its way online as I write this. I am particularly proud of the fact that pd-l2ork has been rock solid in terms of stability for over a year in rehearsals and performances alike. So, head over to our software page for more info…
Given the lack of fresh blogging on our front page, one might have begun to wonder if L2Ork had filed for whatever is the academic equivalent of Chapter 11. In part to dispel such unfounded concerns, it is my hope the following post is going to assure you L2Ork is not only still here, it is stronger than ever. It is simply that we’ve all been tremendously busy this past semester and as such our blogging activities have taken a back seat until things settled down a bit. So, what have we been up to?
Our membership has been on a steady rise and our infrastructure keeps improving on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, apart from upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04 (a.k.a. Long Term Support release), we’ve had a slew of pd-l2ork updates to the point we now maintain our own Git hub. Most recently, pd-l2ork has introduced infinite undo and a number of graphically-friendly editing options that should make creating pieces for the ensemble a breeze (belated warning: non-geek readers may want to simply skip the previous two sentences altogether :-).
Technical matters aside (as exciting as they may be), the fall has proven an intense semester, indeed. Apart from the Virginia State Fair which has also spawned flattering media coverage, L2Ork has also had shows at Ferrum College as well as Blacksburg’s Gilbert Linkous Elementary, where we’ve received standing ovations for performances of pieces I honestly worried would be too long and slow-paced for kindergarten, elementary and middle school children. With such thankful audience I must say that performance is definitely among my favorites. And as if that weren’t enough, kids from the entire school have drawn and mailed us literally dozens upon dozens of thank you cards featuring scenes and student impressions from our performance! Finally, in early November, I took a trip down to Texas A&M for an invited lecture and performance as part of the award L2Ork received this past February.
All in all, it’s been a busy semester and with the newfound Virginia Tech Institute for Creativity, Arts & Technology (ICAT) now in full swing, it appears the next semester will be even more intense (more on that soon…). So, while we are all trying to catch our collective breaths, spend some quality time with our families, and indulge in eggnog, I invite you to check out latest version of pd-l2ork, visit our YouTube page, join our Facebook page, or follow us via our new Twitter account (many thanks to L2Orkists for their initiative on this one!). I wish you all very best for the Holidays and a Happy New Year!