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Yeah!!!!

Why did I stay up all evening working on music and watching Dexter’s Lab instead of sleeping?

Because we’re going on tour! And we’re leaving at six! In the AM!

Well, that is actually awful logic on my part, but I figure I’ll be able to sleep in the tour van and work on my other max/pd music endeavors.

I think we’re all pretty stoked for SEAMUS. It looks to be more than just very reputable event, but a truly awesome collective of performers, ideas and music. I really feel L2Ork is just like any other music group that’s been around for this period of time, we’re just trying to get out there and play. It’s all about spreading the love/music, although in this case, we have the privilege of spreading this love in an open source/linuxy fashion. Ahhhh yeahhhhh.

Let’s talk about myself so I can figure out if I’ve packed everything and tell you what gear I’m personally using at the same time. Zing. In the backpack I got:
-Novation Launchpad
-Livid Ohm Classic
-Edirol UA-1G
on a Toshiba Satellite and into my head with some Sennheiser HD 380 Pros

Yeah, tis lookin like it’ll be a productive car ride unless I just pass out for the entire 15 hours.
Tour! Yeah! Tour! Neat! SEAMUS!

-Adam

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I don’t know if anyone knows much about touring so here is a statement in regards to touring: you spend an inordinate amount of time with the same people.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but as has happened with this group something magical has happened, everyone becomes their own separate person.

While 2 hours a day twice a week seems like a large amount of time with the same people, 24 hours a day for 5 days is a ridiculous amount of time. During this time one gets to know the person, rather than the part; and groups of people once associated with one another shatter and are replaced with individuality. It’s quite amazing really and one of the best things that has happened on this trip.

Furthermore, this conference has been the most creatively jarring experience that most of us ever had. It really puts into perspective the artistic work that Ico and L2ork and the kids in Computer Music are trying to do and are trying to introduce to the world. One really gets a glimpse into a world that, to most of us, is completely new and original.

Though it is not entirely over, it is coming to a close and I’d like to take this time to show appreciation for anyone responsible for making this “tour” possible, to thank all of the artists that we have met and experienced and most of all to Ico, for taking a rag-tag bunch of students and introducing them into a new world and we would not be here without you.

And lastly to the L2orkists: It has been an inspiration and pleasure to get to know you all as individuals and while I enjoy the time spent with you… I’m going to need you all to go home.

-Miles

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In a decisive move to conquer an unsuspecting world, the L2Orkists have packed up their hemispherical speakers into their custom-made bags, loaded into three cramped minivans and begun a six-day sojourn through the mid-west.

With the first of three performances at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati happening at 7:30 PM our troop of droopy-eyed, wiimote wielding, laptop-virtuosos left a sleepy Blacksburg around 8 AM. Our caravan cut through a foreign countryside and, in 7 hours, arrived outside of an eager concert hall.

We unpacked and were left to our own devices to explore the surrounding city until sound check. A group of us found a hipster coffee shop and on suggestion by what could have been the owner, were led to an amazing Mediterranean restaurant and feasted on delicious Spicy Gyros. Later we returned to that hipster coffee shop and sipped on some of the best coffee that I’ve experienced in my lifetime.

As the opening act we were able to break down our set up and enjoy the rest of the concert, which kind of helped to put some perspective on the work we’ve been doing.

I had intended to finish this post before we left Cincinnati but the time to leave approached too quickly and since then we have traversed into 4 states and traveled 5+ hours and have arrived in Carbondale, IL where it is surprisingly flat and every store is separated into its own mini strip-mall.

We have a performance tomorrow at Southern Illinois University with Ron Coulter which should be exciting and then we pack up and journey to Indianapolis Friday for our last performance on Sunday.

This is Miles, signing off until next time!

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Kevin and Donovan from the Boys and Girls ClubHello all,

Over the last month L2Ork has been working with the Roanoke Boys and Girls club to adapt a laptop orchestra for use in elementary school education. I have been traveling to Roanoke 3 times a week to teach the students and help them make music. We currently have ten 5th grade students involved in the program, and they are all eager to learn and have been great to work with.

Both the students, and VT l2orkists are very excited by the opportunity to collaborate with one another through the use of the laptop orchestra. On April 17th, we very much look forward to performing with our fellow l2orkists from the Boys & Girls Club. Undoubtedly the upcoming concert will be a big step forward for all involved, and I urge everyone to attend.

More to come in the next couple weeks, Jonathan.

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It has begun. The excitement, patching, updating, coding, composing, fixing, soldering,… well, you get the point. L2Ork is back and is now bigger than ever. On the first day of classes we had students literally in the hallway as we could not fit everyone in the classroom, and DISIS is by no means a small space. So, now we are facing a problem: we have more students than stations. Our current infrastructure can support up to 16 l2orkists which leaves us with one dev notebook. In such a setup, however, we won’t have backup speakers left which is probably not a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a good problem to have, yet on a flip side, given the nosedive our University’s budget has taken, it may be a while before we can support additional musicians, which is a shame as the very last thing I would want to do right now is to lose momentum because of such a problem.

Even though the ensemble has effectively doubled in size, we also lost in the process one of our last semester’s members. Jen is getting ready to graduate and that has made it difficult for her to stay with us, particularly as we look forward to hopefully touring later this year. On behalf of entire L2Ork I would like to hereby thank Jen for being a l2orkist when no one yet knew what being one even meant (needless to mention what it required), for believing in L2Ork and for being a part of the great success we’ve enjoyed in our debut performance last December.

One of the top priority tasks awaiting us this week is upgrading of our machines. After some testing we’ve decided to upgrade our setup to Ubuntu 9.10 (up from 9.04) which brings about a number of enhancements we like, including a prebuilt real-time kernel. So far the only regression we’ve identified is apparently buggy webcam driver. Given that currently we are not using camera for any of our L2Ork needs, it appears that benefits of upgrading to 9.10 far outweigh potential shortcomings. The word is also that a fix is in the works and that it has been already included in the upcoming 10.04 LTS (Long-Term-Support) release which is our ultimate near-term target upgrade currently scheduled for the summer of 2010.

There are a lot of other things and exciting news I wanted to share with you today but perhaps I should leave them for another time–in a sea of looming deadlines, time is truly a rare commodity we all are acutely low on, so I should probably get back to work and hope to get some decent sleep tonight…

Speaking of work, in the coming weeks, as we hopefully find time to catch our collective breaths, we will be posting additional content, including Linux resources, a new mailing list, detailed how-to documentation, and other goodies.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us–we would love to hear your thoughts, comments, and ideas!

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