Tagged: software

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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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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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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RenoiseGreetings from the L2Ork central! Amidst tons of software updates we’ve been posting over the past couple days on our Software page, earlier today I learned that L2Ork has received a generous sponsorship from the Renoise folks, makers of the amazing and quite unconventional Renoise computer music composition & performance software in a form of a site license covering the entire L2Ork ensemble. One will surely wonder, what do we want to do with all these copies? ;-) While we keep you in suspense, why don’t you go and check out the latest and greatest in the L2Ork iteration of Pd (which BTW has seen dozens upon dozens of crucial bug fixes and usability improvements covering both the core program and supporting externals) available on our Software page. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

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As busy as things have been since the onset of the spring semester, only now are we finally getting to updating community resources. To start off, we have created a general l2ork-dev public mailing list for the purpose of encouraging community participation in our infrastructure development as well as for support of creation of other L*Orks around the globe. In addition, since in L2Ork we do not like compromises, we’ve also provided a custom Ubuntu 9.10 real-time kernel that provides 100% hardware support for the MSI Wind U100 notebooks (available on the Software page). A growing library of Pure-Data externals and abstractions should follow shortly.

For additional info on the said content visit “Join the L2Orkmania” page.

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