Tagged: full steam ahead

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)┬áhas 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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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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So, we’ve hit a few roadblocks along the way, ironically most of them having little to do with L2Ork itself, and more with the Man-Bear-Pig flu (or whatever they call it these days). Now that most of us are back on our feet, we are moving full steam ahead.

After series of exercises exploring Wiimote/Nunchuk as an expressive hyerinstrument, we’ve settled on developing more elaborate iterations of exercises 4 and 5. Exercise 4 utilizes bowing metaphor to produce sound while allowing performers to shape and modify their sound through a series of gesture-driven filters (e.g. pitch-shifters, vocoders, delays, etc.). Exercise 5 deals with percussive side of things while still offering a relatively broad vocabulary of possibilities, ranging from sustained shapes to microscopic glitch-like slices.

Our L2Ork family has grown this fall to incorporate 9 new performers. In the coming days, as we create and distribute new blogging accounts, our new members will hopefully join me in posting their impressions of the L2Ork’s maiden journey (note to self: need to update the L2Orkists page asap). In the meantime, stay tuned for more L2Orklicious updates…

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