Tagged: upcoming

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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Isn’t it ironic that I would finally find a few moments to blog right on April 1st? Now, who will actually believe anything I write? Add to that earlier prank on our Facebook page and we’re definitely not boding well in the “we’re-not-kidding” department.

So what’s new in the wondrous world of L2Ork? With the new Institute for Creativity, Arts & Technology (ICAT) research engine revving up, things have been particularly intense over the past couple of months. pd-l2ork development has been also intensifying. The latest version (no April fool’s joke) includes intuitive tooltips, infinite undo, an array of GUI improvements, and a revamped Wiimote connectivity.

The most notable development is the upcoming performance at the first international Symposium on Laptop Ensembles & Orchestras that will take place at Louisiana State University April 15-17. L2Ork will be one of the four guest ensembles (also featuring European Bridges Ensemble, LSU’s Laptop Orchestra Louisiana, Mobile Performance Group, and Princeton’s Sideband) performing on April 16th @ 10:30pm in the Varsity Theatre. Hope to see you there!

I am also pleased to report we’ve had two additional publications accepted to conferences, including aforesaid SLEO, and the upcoming NIME conference. One deals with our ongoing work on integrating Taiji mind-body practice, while other is explores our most recent project in collaboration with the Roanoke’s Boys & Girls’ Club of Southwest Vriginia.

The other day, most of the l2orkists added their own signatures on the beams that will soon find their way into the new Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech. The center will also be the home of the aforesaid ICAT. Until I upload the latest photos from my camera, check out our Twitter feed for a photo from the event.

Lastly, on April 30th, L2Ork will be also performing at home in the Studio Theatre as part of the spring 2012 DISIS event. We also have some special guests planned for this event so stay tuned for more exciting updates soon! Until then, happy April Sages day everyone :-)

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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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April 17th 2010 L2Ork/DISIS Spring EventIt’s been a busy semester to say the least. Consequently, I hope you’ll forgive us for posting this announcement so close to the actual event.

It is my great pleasure to announce the upcoming joint L2Ork/DISIS spring event scheduled for April 17th 2010 (Saturday) in the Squires Recital Salon, starting at 7pm with the Boys & Girls Club of Roanoke, VA children’s showcase, followed by the 8pm Benefit Concert.

Apart from the L2Ork 14-member ensemble, the program will also feature guest artists Matthew Burtner (UVA), Ron Coulter (SIUC) and Mark Engebretson (UNCG), as well as Virginia Tech Music Department’s tremendously talented soprano Chelsea Crane. All donations will benefit Boys & Girls Club of Roanoke, VA.

The 7pm program is geared mainly towards children and parents and will also include a demo hands-on session for visitors and parents alike. The 8pm benefit concert will be more experimental in nature, featuring numbers for L2Ork and soloists, works by visiting artists, as well as musical robots and other innovative creative technologies.

On April 20th, L2Ork will also embark on its maiden tour made possible through generous contributions by Virginia Tech’s Center for Creative Technologies in the Arts (CCTA), Institute for Society, Culture & Environment (ISCE), Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE), Collaborative for Creative Technologies in the Arts & Design (CCTAD), and Center for Human-Computer Interaction (CHCI).

The tour will include performances at the Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music (April 20th) as part of the Sonic Exploration concert series, Southern Illinois University (April 22nd), and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (April 25th) as part of the International Intermedia Festival of Telematic Arts.

For additional info visit the Events page.

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