Tagged: Boys & Girls Club of Roanoke

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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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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Citadel with Boys & Girls Club Laptop Orchestra, DISIS Spring 2011 Event (photo by Alec Tebbenhoff)

Well, it’s been a week since our weekend marathon and the adrenaline is finally subsiding :-). And what a series of performances has it been! Starting with the sneak peek at Roanoke College on April 8th and followed by two benefit events on Virginia Tech campus in front of a nearly full concert hall (I must admit I was a bit concerned how many people we might get considering this was our first ticketed event), things ran smoother than ever. More so, this time the spring event was bigger than ever with four guest artists Ron Coulter (percussion), Brad Garton (electronics), Peter Kirn (electronics), and Dave Phillips (electronics). We’ve also had (thanks to all the hard work of Michael Matthews) a really funny piece for the 4th and 5th graders that integrated Renoise with pd-l2ork (which, by the way has seen a slew of recent releases with really cool improvements).

Consequently, I would like to use this opportunity to once again thank all our guests, supporters, partners, sponsors, as well as our Stakeholders without whom none of this would’ve been possible or made any sense.

Speaking of Stakeholders, you may have noticed in the recent weeks that our list of Stakeholders found on the right side of this page has grown considerably from 13 to 20. It is therefore my great pleasure to welcome our latest Virginia Tech Stakeholders: Alumni Relations, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Institute for Distance & Distributed Learning, Learning Technologies, Office of Academic Assessment, Outreach & International Affairs, and School of Performing Arts & Cinema. This exciting development naturally begs a question–why such a sudden influx of new members? Well… let me tell you…

(to be continued ;-)

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The spring is in the air, which means it is time for the spring DISIS and L2Ork events. To start the season right, this past Friday L2Ork had a sneak preview performance at Roanoke College. More so, this coming weekend we are having a truly special series of events with the return of the Boys & Girls Club laptop orchestra whom we’ve been working with this semester. In addition, the spring DISIS event will also include guest artists and scholars Ron Coulter, Brad Garton, Peter Kirn, and Dave Phillips. The upcoming events include:

  • Thursday April 7 @ 3:30-4:45pm in DISIS presentation by Brad Garton
  • Friday 10am-1pm lectures in the Arts Armory by Brad Garton, Peter Kirn, and Dave Phillips (free admission)
  • Friday April 8 @ 7pm in Dumas Center (Roanoke, VA) children’s concert featuring Boys & Girls Club laptop orchestra and L2Ork
  • Saturday April 9 @ 7pm in Squires Recital Salon children’s benefit concert (an Arts Fusion event) featuring Boys & Girls Club laptop orchestra and L2Ork followed by a hands-on laptop orchestra demo session for kids and families ($5 general, $3 children/students/seniors, with all proceeds benefiting Boys & Girls ClubPress Release
  • Saturday April 9 @ 8pm in Squires Recital Salon benefit concert (an Arts Fusion event) featuring Ron Coulter, Brad Garton, Peter Kirn, Dave Phillips, and L2Ork ($5 general, $3 children/students/seniors, with all proceeds benefiting Boys & Girls ClubPress Release

This year we’ve also partnered up with the Virginia Tech Kids’ Tech University program (KTU blog) to expand our outreach to young audiences. For additional info on the upcoming events, please visit our Events page or our Facebook Event page. To keep up with the latest updates, join us on Facebook.

As if that weren’t exciting enough, earlier this weekend we’ve made yet another public release of pd-l2ork with even more cool features and fixes. Our site has been also updated with the new promotional materials and photos. Yet, in the spirit of Steve Jobs’ keynote speeches we’ve left the best for last. Stay tuned for more exciting updates soon ;-)

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1st Prize

As usual, things are rather busy in L2Ork-land. As a matter of fact, so busy we’ve completely forgotten to blog (which reminds me I need to update both L2Ork and DISIS sites)…

We are once again thoroughly excited to be working with the 4th and 5th graders of the Boys & Girls Club of Roanoke, VA, we recently returned from the national SEAMUS 2011 conference, we just got a brand new piece finished that incorporates Taiji (a.k.a. Tai Chi) choreography, pd-l2ork is progressing beautifully with already hundreds of bug-fixes and improvements committed since last November (and now with a comprehensive documentation on how to install it), and we are only a month away from series of our spring performances (which once again, reminds me, I really need to update the “upcoming events” page asap). As if that weren’t enough, a couple weeks ago I learned that the revamped version of Half-Life composition for laptop orchestra and narrator (based on a piece originally written for L2Ork) has won the first place on the first international laptop orchestra composition commission competition sponsored by our sister MONSTER laptop orchestra at Montana State University. Yay!

All that said, provided next couple of weeks go as planned, we are gearing up for another huge announcement, so stay tuned for more L2Ork goodness! In the meantime, as a shameless plug for my DISIS computer music students, they’ve just released their first Max album in the “aural pixels” series featuring real-time generated experimental tunes. So, head over to the DISIS portfolio page for some screechin’, FMlicious goodness.

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