Tagged: Tour

raspberry_pi_image_by_TPBarratt

The sparser these posts get the more I am convinced that I need to recruit a full-time blogger. So much happened since the last post. Where to begin?

So we’ve completed our migration to our new laptops (HP dm1 4142nr or their educational variant 3115m). The new puppies are working marvelously well and offer formidable performance improvements. Let’s just say that I don’t have to leave a laptop on overnight just to compile a new version of pd-l2ork :-)

Speaking of pd-l2ork, we’ve had a number of releases, many of which have tackled simplifying the building, dependency, and deployment. We also started maintaining a download page on the main puredata.info portal. In the light of recent developments, including the Satchmo SuitSup Award L2Ork received last fall for its contributions to the Pd community, as well as last month’s ICAT/IMPACT/DISIS/L2Ork Raspberry Pi workshop (I dare you to try reading that acronym soup in one breath), yep you guessed it, pd-l2ork is now running comfortably on Raspberry Pi (RPi) hardware. New versions will be posted shortly on the updated and vastly simplified software page, including detailed instructions on how to configure and run pd-l2ork on RPi. Needless to mention all the efforts at optimizing GUI operations really come in handy on the ultra-affordable and ultra-low-end hardware such as RPi. I guess there has never been a more affordable way to teach music technology, MAKEr, or even start an ultra-affordable RPi orchestra, particularly one geared towards K-12 education (pd-l2ork K12 anyone?)!

As I mentioned in a previous post, over the past year L2Ork has been particularly active in helping facilitate new *Orks around the country and beyond. I am pleased to report that since its inception, L2Ork has helped start 5 new *Orks with three of them coming online in this year alone, including Shawnee State University, Stetson University, and Santa Clara University. Perhaps even more importantly, the said newfound *Orks are using identical or near-identical Linux-based and pd-l2ork-centric setups!

It’s been a while since I wrote a new piece for L2Ork, mainly because of the infrastructural overhaul and heavy work on improving pd-l2ork. And then there was that small formality of tenure that ate up most of the last year. Looking back, it is truly inspiring to see how much the ensemble and its supporting infrastructure have matured. Yet, without new pieces it is easy to lose direction or worse yet, stagnate. I am thrilled to report that a new piece is brewing, one that includes things like earth-rattling dubstep bass, some sick electronic percussion, and smooth meditative textures (can a dubstep go hand-in-hand with meditative textures? good question–I’ll let you know ;-) In part due to infrastructural overhaul and in part due to the newfound dubstep needs, L2Ork is now a proud owner of five new Yamaha YST-FSW050BL2 subs supplanting our old, somewhat beaten up, and definitely underpowered Logitechs. On top of all that we managed to do this without increasing the bottom-line per-seat cost of the ensemble infrastructure. Let the earth-rattling experience commence! But I digress… The new piece titled “Between” is a commission as part of a grant from Temple University’s Vice Provost for the Arts. It is being devised in collaboration with a talented dance duo from Temple University Jillian Harris and Jae Hoon Lim. Speaking of new pieces and collaborations…

Unlike last semester which was dedicated mostly to pd-l2ork clean-up and experimentation with the K-12 module, this semester is packed with performances. Following local “warm-up” shows for new l2orkists at 622 North and XYZ Gallery (as part of the Rock The Blocks festival that took place in March), L2Ork is looking forward to following performances:

Contemplative Practices for a Technological Society
April 30, 2013 8pm @ Virginia Tech Inn (CPTS Banquet)

SPRING 2013 NORTH-EAST TOUR
April16th 7:30pm Princeton University Taplin Auditorium
February 18th 3pm Drexel University ExCITe
February 19th 6pm Temple University Conwell Theater

And then finally, Spring DISIS/ICAT event scheduled for May 6th with a bunch of guest artists (more about that later). So, yes, L2Ork will be paying a visit to the place that started it all, Princeton University, followed by performances and workshops at Drexel and finally Temple University. In preparation for the upcoming tour, we’ve also done a new photo shoot for the promotional materials. Special thanks go to L2Ork’s new photographer Cooper Long for a fantastic job on an incredibly short notice. For more promotional photos, including some entertaining bloopers, check out our Media page.

It is an exciting spring indeed, one that has kept us all both busy and sleep deprived! So much for now, stay tuned for more updates/announcements/music and software releases soon!

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L2Ork North-East Tour of 2012 Yep, it is that time of the year and L2Ork is getting ready for our first mini-tour of the 2012 with following performances and presentations:

February 19th @5pm — University of Maryland Baltimore County
February 20th @12pm — Rutgers University
February 21st @12pm — Temple University
February 21st @2:30pm — A talk at Community College of Philadelphia

Some of the PR is already up, so please make sure to check it out for more detailed info on the events. Hope to see you there!

Apart from the frantic tour preparations, things have been particularly busy on the recruitment front. L2Ork has again grown to over dozen members, many of whom have joined us less than a month ago. Needless to say, last couple of weeks were quite intense as everyone worked hard to get up to speed with the L2Ork repertoire. There are also a number of exciting announcements we would like to make, pertaining to our Spring itinerary as well as other related developments. So, as we work towards our next blog, here’s a quick update for pd-l2ork users. Pd-l2ork now features regular releases of both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. A bunch of updates have been made to improve responsiveness of the user interface and to squash a few lingering bugs and regressions and the latest version released earlier today is making its way online as I write this. I am particularly proud of the fact that pd-l2ork has been rock solid in terms of stability for over a year in rehearsals and performances alike. So, head over to our software page for more info…

Stay tuned for more updates!

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L2Ork in ParisCan’t believe we are less than four hours away from home. Currently waiting at Newark airport for our last connection to Charlotte, NC where Michael and Alec will be waiting with two 12-passenger vans to take us back to Virginia Tech (approx. 2.5 hour ride from the airport).

Looking back, it’s been an amazing three weeks full of surprises, twists, turns, curve balls, and stories we all will be retelling for many seasons to come. More importantly, it’s been a tour filled with successful performances.

Last night, we played as part of the closing concert at the international NIME conference in Oslo, a performance that I think was particularly well received. As I write this, my computer is slowly chewing on the video footage which I will be uploading to our YouTube page as soon as it is done.

Yesterday, I also received an email informing me that another interview aired on Croatian National TV (HTV) as part of the e-Hrvatska show covering our performance in Zagreb. You can view the video here.

I would like to use this opportunity to once again sincerely thank our Stakeholders who have generously sponsored this gargantuan undertaking. Likewise, I would like to thank our guest soloists Ron Coulter and Aurora Martin who have been brave (crazy? :-) enough to partake in the tour. I would also like to acknowledge my European Colleagues who have helped me coordinate venue planning, Robin Gareus, Marc Groenewegen, and Martin Kaltenbrunner. Finally, I would like to thank all l2orkists for their selfless contributions and sacrifices that have made this tour possible. Have a great summer all! You’ve definitely deserved it!

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Yeah, we did a lot of this...It seems the farther we go west, the more “unique” our accomodations are. Our initial Amsterdam hostel was, well… unique indeed. Now that the ensemble has moved to STEIM for the rest of our Amsterdam stay we are hopeful things will improve. Something else I noticed since filling out a couple of those hostel registrations leaving my VT email (call it trying to be honest, or better yet, just plainly naive), my inbox spam has literally quadrupled. And then, there are those pesky Icelandic volcanoes with impossible names, one of which is now causing a bit of a headache due to our pending departure from Oslo scheduled for Thursday next week. Let’s hope that wind takes care of the ash by then so that our return is safe, timely, and uneventful.

Yesterday evening, we held a workshop at STEIM to an enthusiastic audience. Having been given an opportunity to recap the milestones L2Ork has achieved over the past two and a half years made me realize just how far we’ve come.

Tonight, we will be performing at Zaal100 @ 8:30pm, as part of an HKU event. More soon…

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Midpoint

L2Ork in front of Zagreb's Museum of Contemporary ArtsEleven days behind us and another eleven to go, today marks the midpoint of the tour. Having performed last night at Hamburg’s Academy of Music and Theater as part of the Blurred Edges Festival, we are using one day to catch-up with sleep and follow-up on outstanding matters. For one, I spent a better part of today producing long overdue L2Ork performance videos. Consequently, we got seven new videos ready out of which four have been already uploaded onto the DISIS YouTube channel. Similarly, we’ve been trying to consolidate tour photos which should be finding their way onto the media and facebook pages hopefully soon. Tomorrow morning, we head to Amsterdam. On the 24th we have a workshop at STEIM, followed by two performances, in Amsterdam on 25th, and Utrecht on 26th. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

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