Tagged: Tour

Rebound

L2Ork at Zagreb's Museum of Contemporary ArtsAs they say, what does not kill you makes you stronger. With the bout of challenges the ensemble faced over the past few days we approached our next venue in Zagreb’s magnificent Museum of Contemporary Arts (event page) with great caution. And it seems that our preparedness has indeed paid off. Not only did we land a series of interviews, including the nationwide RTL TV (broadcast today as part of the 6:30PM national news, fast-forward to 26:17 on the timeline for our segment) and the Croatian National Radio, but our story also aired in the most unsuspecting places, such as the popular Croatian computer magazine. More so, ensemble’s creative output has been compared to famous artists such as Stockhausen and Cage, as well as Einsturzende Neubauten, something that we’ve found quite flattering. Following the concert, once again the stage was swamped with curious audience members, something that has by now become the staple of our concerts. Needless to mention the event was a great success that has left us all energized and motivated more than ever before.

Tomorrow 11am-3pm, a national radio show titled “Putovi Hrvatske Glazbe” (loosely translated as “Paths of Croatian Music”) will air featuring L2Ork works and an interview, followed by additional broadcasts of various pieces over the next couple of weeks. Similarly, a TV show titled e-Hrvatska (e-Croatia) will in coming days air on the national HTV an interview with excerpts from the performance. We will make sure to keep you posted as soon as we know more. We are also working on editing video footage which we will be posting hopefully soon. In the meantime, to keep up with latest tour developments, join our facebook page. For a media fix, check out David’s L2Ork tour photo journal.

Next stop, May 21st @ 8PM at Hamburg, German, with a performance at the Academy of Music and Theater.

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L2Ork Unplugged

As I battle a monster jetlag-exhaustion combo driven by an insane concert schedule, I caught myself pondering the following: in a society driven by an incessant pursuit of elusive perfection it seems like we are always trying our hardest to present ourselves as being something we clearly can never be–perfect. So, instead of propagating a fake ideal image of what a tour might seem to an outside viewer, here is an alternative, “behind the curtains” view of our ambitious undertaking in hope it may provide some wisdom to those who might be considering initiatives of similar nature and scope.

During our three-leg flight, we went through four (yes, you read that right, four) TSA checkpoints tripping additional security checks at every single one of them with our ominous looking hemi speakers that have confounded even most experienced TSA officers. In Charlotte (the point of origin for most of us), over half of students were unable to obtain their boarding passes for connecting flights. This, in combination with the fact we had to deplane our original flight in Charlotte due to a “mechanical problem,” we barely made it to our overseas flight literally minutes before its departure. As if begging for trouble, due to preexisting logistic challenges not all l2orkists shared the common itinerary. Ron joined us at Charlotte airport barely making it through security in time for our joint departure, while John joined us in Frankfurt. My advice? Don’t do this.

Knowing how much punishment checked luggage is commonly subjected to during air travel, we bought a hard-shell suitcase for our subs and supporting L2Ork accessories. Yet, upon arriving to Linz we discovered the brand new suitcase not only had a nasty rip in its plastic shell, but one of the subs inside it had a leg completely torn off (including a piece of its wooden enclosure), despite the fact we stuffed the entire suitcase with shock-absorbing foam-like material. So, I spent an afternoon in Linz between the workshop and a concert seeking inventive ways to fix the sub. Luckily, it all worked out since Martin generously offered access to his studio. Following the late Linz gig, on our way back to the hotel we were caught completely unprepared in a rainstorm which once again tested our L2Ork bags to their very limits.

Next destination, Ljubljana. As we were setting up in Kino Šiška, we discovered that one of the stations were not properly packed and that we left behind 3 critical cables (speaker, sub, and network), effectively rendering one station inoperable. While we did bring along an additional station as a backup plan and thus were able to compensate for this unfortunate loss, another one of these slip-ups and entire tour will be in jeopardy. And we are barely getting started…

And then there is the Budapest gig. The train to Ljubljana ran quite late begging a critical question whether we would be able to make it to Budapest in time for our 7pm gig where we had barely an hour between our anticipated arrival (following an 8-hour journey of the only train connection between Ljubljana and Budapest) and the beginning of the concert. Following our last night’s performance the ensemble spent two hours deliberating possible alternatives and finally arriving at the most dreaded, yet the only rational option of having to cancel our Budapest gig. Swallowing a bitter pill is never fun, but when one spends a year in planning an event just to cancel it less than 24 hours before the performance, it is plainly unbearable.

Nonetheless, there are many exciting things ahead of us and the one-day break has given us a chance to catch our breath and recoup some of the precious energy. Looking forward, despite all the curve balls we’ve been dodging for the past couple days, I cannot help but feel optimistic. We still have tons of exciting venues ahead of us. Our next stop? Zagreb’s magnificent Museum of Contemporary Arts and a performance on May 18th @ 6pm as part of the International Day of Museums.

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Energize!!!

I cannot help but chuckle at the mysterious ubiquity of number 13 in our Friday’s arrival to Linz, Austria: 13 l2orkists flew on Friday the 13th with the last leg leaving Frankfurt at 13h (1pm)–prime number bonanza, to say the least. Going through the TSA checkpoints with our hemi speakers has been, well, an adventure :-). But, in the end, it all worked out just fine. In the process, we even got a great idea for our next poster…

Yesterday, still under heavy jet lag, L2Ork held a 3-hour workshop, followed by a 9pm performance as part of the LiWoLi festival. Our concert was complemented by Martin Kaltenbrunner’s improv on the cool Reactable (many thanks Martin!). Footage to follow hopefully soon. Our engagement as part of LiWoLi has been covered by two Austrian technology-oriented news sites.

Today, after another night with less than 3 hours of sleep we got up early to catch a 7am train to Ljubljana where we arrived seven hours later. Despite being long, the train ride was really comfortable and going through the Alps was awe inspiring (at least for those who managed to stay awake). Later this evening at 9pm, we will be performing at Kino Šiška.

P.S. I was also really pleased to have found our custom L2Ork bags living up to their expectations of not only fitting perfectly in the overhead compartment of three different jam-packed airplanes, but also under the seat. Yay! ;-)

To keep up with our latest blog bits, check us out on our Facebook page.

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L2Ork 2011 European TourI guess holding off on the big announcement any longer would be simply uncivilized ;-), so here it goes…

After 8 months of planning, fundraising a metric ton of greenbacks, and literally thousands of hours of hard work distributed across dozens of souls, L2Ork is truly excited to announce our maiden tour of Europe May 12 – June 1, 2011. Joining forces with our guest soloist Ron Coulter and our talented soprano l2orkist Aurora Martin, the ensemble will be touring 7 countries, performing and holding workshops in following locations:

May 14 – Linz, Austria (as part of LiWoLi festival)
May 15 – Ljubljana, Slovenia (Kino Šiška)
May 18 – Croatia (Museum of Contemporary Arts)
May 21 – Hamburg, Germany (Academy of Music and Theater)
May 24 – Amsterdam, Netherlands (STEIM)
May 25 – Amsterdam, Netherlands (Zaal 100)
May 26 – Utrecht, Netherlands (HKU)
May 30 – Paris, France (IRCAM)
June 01 – Oslo, Norway (NIME 2011)

I cannot thank enough to all who have generously contributed their precious time and helped us make this opportunity a reality: Ron Coulter, Robin Gareus, Marc Groenewegen, l2orkists, as well as our Stakeholders, both new and old who have played critical role in meeting the needs of our formidable budget.

So, there you have it! The cat is finally out of the bag :-). Hope to see you at one of our upcoming destinations! In the meantime, to stay up-to-date with the latest developments join our facebook page.

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Yeah!!!!

Why did I stay up all evening working on music and watching Dexter’s Lab instead of sleeping?

Because we’re going on tour! And we’re leaving at six! In the AM!

Well, that is actually awful logic on my part, but I figure I’ll be able to sleep in the tour van and work on my other max/pd music endeavors.

I think we’re all pretty stoked for SEAMUS. It looks to be more than just very reputable event, but a truly awesome collective of performers, ideas and music. I really feel L2Ork is just like any other music group that’s been around for this period of time, we’re just trying to get out there and play. It’s all about spreading the love/music, although in this case, we have the privilege of spreading this love in an open source/linuxy fashion. Ahhhh yeahhhhh.

Let’s talk about myself so I can figure out if I’ve packed everything and tell you what gear I’m personally using at the same time. Zing. In the backpack I got:
-Novation Launchpad
-Livid Ohm Classic
-Edirol UA-1G
on a Toshiba Satellite and into my head with some Sennheiser HD 380 Pros

Yeah, tis lookin like it’ll be a productive car ride unless I just pass out for the entire 15 hours.
Tour! Yeah! Tour! Neat! SEAMUS!

-Adam

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