Category: Announcements

Welcome to 2013

Following a rocky server migration that took longer than anticipated, L2Ork is now ready for another exciting semester. As part of the server migration our website has gotten a face-lift and a lot of behind-the-curtain systems have been updated and cleaned up. Hope you like our new design :-)

I am also thrilled to report that L2Ork has now become one of the signature initiatives of the newfound Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and its Integrative Mind & Performance through the Arts, Creativty, and Technology (IMPACT) studio. With the grand opening of the new Center for the Arts less than nine months away… things do not get any more exciting than this.

L2Orkists spent the bulk of the fall 2012 semester helping with the infrastructure overhaul, namely laptop refresh (more about that soon), and a rigorous beta-testing of pd-l2ork software. As a result, we now have a formidable and ultra-stable platform we can continue building upon. Pd-l2ork is now leaner and meaner than ever. As a matter of fact, just a couple days ago we released our first officially stable snapshot (version 20130111). Enhancements are listed on the git page. The new builds now also support debian binaries for both 32-bit and 64- bit installs and the installers have been overhauled to make compiling from source easier than ever. For more info on this and a myriad of other cool features (like universal preset system) go to our Software page and download the latest version. As always, your comments and feedback are most welcome and appreciated–so, please consider joining us on our l2ork-dev mailing list.

This past fall, we’ve continued working with the Boys & Girls Club of Southwestern Virginia and consequently improving on the pd-l2ork K12 module. The result is a robust tool with a growing body of documentation linking it to K12 education.

This past fall, I was contacted by an old friend Michael Barnhart, who expressed interest in starting a K12 satellite laptop orchestra based on L2Ork’s K12 framework. I am pleased to report that Shawnee State in Ohio is now a home of yet another K12 satelllite laptop orchestra :-) Around the same time, we’ve had another inquiry from Florida about a possibility of organizing a similar K12 initiative in the Orange state. This opportunity is currently pending. I cannot get excited enough about the prospect of growing number of K12 programs like the one we started here at Virginia Tech a couple years ago.

With the infrastructure now being as solid as it gets and our education-based outreach growing, it’s finally time to shift our attention back to music, which is a good thing as I’ve been itching for some time to write another piece for the ensemble. If any of you out there are interested in writing for the ensemble, do not hesitate to contact us–there has never been a better time than now to write for us! And as we look forward to this next semester and all the opportunities it may bring, I guess this is as good time as any to remind all VT students to consider enrolling in the L2Ork ensemble. L2Ork is always on a lookout for a new talent, so please do not hesitate to contact us!

As always, we have some exciting new announcements to make in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more updates soon!

And so begins the fourth year of L2Ork’s journey…

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It’s been a busy summer. Apart from conferences, telematic geospatial performances across the Atlantic, and plenty of research, pd-l2ork has been making big strides towards becoming a robust full-fledged digital signal processing tool. The latest version includes revolutionary preset_hub and preset_node system that supports a wide range of data types as well as abstractions. It is essentially Pd’s counterpart to Max’s pattrstorage. We’ve also squashed dozens of bugs and clean-ups making pd-l2ork better than ever.

Perhaps the most exciting improvement involves Pd-L2Ork’s K12 module geared towards elementary, middle, and high school students. The new version has over 40 objects, allowing students to seamlessly interact with both Wiimotes and SARC iteration of Arduino Uno devices (a.k.a. Sarcduino firmware). And this very version together with 15 L2Ork stations is being used this week by more than 30 middle-school students as part of the inaugural ICAT K12 Maker Workshop taking place in ICAT’s Studio 1. So, head on over to the L2Ork’s software page and check out what the latest version of pd-l2ork is all about ;-)

On a somewhat related note, the entire fleet of L2Ork stations has been migrated to Ubuntu 12.04 and are now eagerly awating for the next generation of l2orkists to use them this coming fall as part of our ongoing L2Ork ensemble. For all VT students interested in participating, please do not hesitate to contact us.

More updates coming soon!

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Pd-L2Ork K-12 ModuleAs 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:

pd-l2ork -k12

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 ;-)

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L2Ork 2012I 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!

 

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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 :-)

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