Tagged: DISIS

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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After another tremendously busy year, virtual cobwebs have covered L2Ork’s front page. It is time for another mega-post, a year in review, if you like.

2015 has been an exciting year. Following my research leave in 2014, things were slowly revving up, only to kick in the high gear with the onset of the spring 2015 semester. With the highest enrollment yet, in January, 17 L2Orkists performed as part of the Band Camp in the beautiful Fife hall in the new Moss Arts Center. In March we had an opportunity to perform at University of Maryland Architecture’s “Great Space” where we were also interviewed by UMD’s Diamondback who published a really flattering article.

L2Ork performing Between at SEAMUS 2015

Spring was also a really busy time with the national SEAMUS 2015 3-day conference taking place at Virginia Tech with 14 concerts, two listening rooms, two installation locations, and six paper sessions and panels. L2Ork peformed Between in ICAT’s Cube in front of a standing room only audience as part of conference’s opening concert. The performance featured L2Orkist Brock Allen on the sax and the rest of the L2Orkists spread across two levels of catwalks. It was also the first L2Ork performance featuring the new Glasstra app for Google Glass that displayed network and FUDI-enabled GUI that was controlled via pd-l2ork, and a concealed Wiimote and Nunchuk that was used to conduct and switch between sections.

On April 9th, L2Ork had its second visit to the Ferrum College for an evening-long performance, followed by the April 19th School of Performing Arts’ Exposition scholarship fundraiser concert back at the Fife hall. Around the same time L2Ork did another photo session with the Spring 2015 generation of L2Orkists guided by the talented eye of Cooper Long. Finally, on May 4th, L2Ork performed as part of the Spring 2015 DISIS event and the annual ICAT day where we premiered two new works, including a really cool Insomniac composition by the L2Orkist Jacob Stenzel.

Summer was just as intense with two week-long Maker camps, the annual K-12 instrument building camp and the inaugural teachers’ Maker camp. With the addition of new objects, such as the complete General MIDI implementation within pd-l2ork K12 module, this year kids have taken instrument building to a whole new level. Speaking of which, Pd-L2Ork development continues at a rapid pace with a number of releases, including most recently the 20151018 release that introduces rtcmix~ external, Eric Lyon’s fftease and potpourri libraries, as well as the new autotune~ external. There is also a major new version (currently in the alpha stage) we are hoping to release sometime this academic year.

This fall, we also participated in a number of performances, including Virginia Tech’s Center for Human-Computer Interaction‘s 20th anniversary celebration, as part of the Electro-Acoustic Barn Dance festival where we premiered a new work by Eric Lyon, and perhaps most excitingly a recent outreach performance made possible by one of the summer teachers’ Maker camp participants, Stephanie Hufton at Botetourt County’s Read Mountain Middle School, where L2Ork performed in front of 300 incredibly enthusiastic middle school students and teachers. The event was also covered by the regional Roanoke Times whose Saturday newspaper front page and online flattering coverage really made our day.

So, all this brings me to perhaps the most exciting announcement. This summer, the international Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities, a non-profit organization with an amazingly exciting goal of establishing and validating the so-called transdisciplinary third space that in many ways defines L2Ork and its mission, put out a call for national transdisciplinary exemplars, the pool of applicants included top national institutions. Only six exemplars were selected  by the national peer review to be showcased at the upcoming a2ru conference scheduled for November 8-11, 2015 at Virginia Tech, and we are thrilled by the fact that L2Ork was one of them!

And so this brings us to roughly today, even though there are a few more pending announcements in the pipeline I will leave for the next blog, so stay tuned for more updates soon! All right, now that we are mostly caught-up, it’s time to get back to preparations for the upcoming a2ru conference. Hope to see you there!

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18 Months Later…

Oh dear, where to begin? It’s been 18 months since L2Ork’s last post. This is in good part because I was on a year-long research leave. As can be expected, a lot happened during this time. Our program got formidable reinforcements, Drs. Eric Lyon, and Charles Nichols, the new Moss Arts Center with amazing ICAT facilities opened, DISIS is moving into a new and amazing space at the end of this semester, and we’re hosting SEAMUS national conference this coming March.

All along L2Ork remained active on many fronts. Charles, having taught L2Ork for the past year, joined me in managing the ensemble. We’ve continued development of pd-l2ork at a staggering pace (check out our latest screenshots for screenshots of  SVG-enabled patch canvas goodness). The Raspberry Pi version in particular has seen addition of new objects offering a comprehensive alternative to Arduino platforms. Last week, we utilized pd-l2ork in “Cloud,” an interactive art installation commissioned by the Ballston Business Improvement District (BID), and in part sponsored by Virginia Tech’s ICAT where 50 cloudlets were equipped with Raspberry Pis and programmed through a series of community workshops. We had over 150 participants working in teams and perhaps what I found to be particularly impressive about this experience (apart from the fact that the event and the ensuing art was an overwhelming success), was the age range of participants–we had families with small children all the way to senior citizens, all successfully completing the 75-minute workshop and producing a working cloudlet with no prior progamming experience required! Talk about making pd-l2ork accessible to all ages :-). “Cloud” is currently located in the main lobby of Virginia Tech’s National Captial Region (VT NRC) building and will stay there until the end of this month.

Pd-l2ork has seen dozens upon dozens of new releases, with another big one coming up. We have now more contributors and developers and are preparing for a historical jump away from the aging tcl/tk toolkit to the ubiquitous and Qt library (not to be mistaken with Apple’s Quicktime). We have continued to work with Boys & Girls Club of Southwestern Virginia, and in collaboration with the Montgomery County Public Schools have also expanded our summer Maker activities to gifted programs. As a result, this summer we held our inaugural Raspberry Pi Orchestra workshop where dozen children over three days and 9 hours of workshops successfully designed, developed, and utilized their own instruments. Our summer Maker camp was sold in less than 48 hours and was by far the most ambitious and successful yet. Last fall we premiered another exciting project–OPERAcraft, that also utilized pd-l2ork to coordinate real-time opera production our in-house custom Minecraft mod. And the list goes on…

This semester, we have a strong group of dozen energetic performers and I am excited by the upcoming program. We have also refreshed our VT student organization and elected new officers. Stay tuned for further announcements over the next couple of weeks. Until then, L2Ork on!

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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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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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