PLOrk fall2008

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General Information

Laptops and Performance (LaP-band)

Graduate Seminar, Fall 2008

Dan Trueman, Perry Cook, Scott Smallwood, with Rebecca Fiebrink

In this seminar, we will consider the musical, technical and aesthetic issues surrounding the use of laptops in performance, from the laptop soloist, to the laptop/instrument hybrid, to laptop ensembles from duos on up. While we will take in a few readings over the course of the semester, this will mostly be a hands-on course, dealing with both software and hardware issues. Topics will include: interfacing (sensors and conventional interface devices); mapping (controls and audio input to sound parameters); machine learning (a relatively new and particularly compelling approach to the problem of mapping); speakers; networking; software design (in whatever environments people are using, including ChucK, Max/MSP, and SuperCollider). While the focus is on laptops in performance, most of the topics will be directly relevant to installation uses of laptops as well, and we will of course venture off in directions inspired by seminar members.

We are hoping that this seminar will result in material and projects that can make there way into several upcoming performances, including collaborations with Matmos and So Percussion (at the Kitchen, April 10-11), with Laurie Anderson (who is doing an Atelier at Princeton in the Spring semester and would like to work with PLOrk or PLOrk subsets), with PLOrk (Richardson, May 15-16; this show will also have Matmos and So Percussion), and in an open informal performance that we have scheduled for January 17 in Taplin.

  • primary meeting time: Th 1:30-4:20, Studio B, sometimes 102. Other than days when there are colloquia, we will follow seminar with CCCP (Communal Coding Commune Princeton) until 6:30 or so


Important Dates

  • January 17; performance in Taplin


Basic Resources

books and other readings

some online places with laptop music (seminar members: please add to this!)

campus stuff

  • if you haven't visited Perry's soundlab do so!
  • Perry's Human-Computer Interfacing course is also relevant.
  • there is a machine shop class offered in the Engineering Quad; useful primarily for metal-working, though wood and plastic is also possible. contact Larry McIntyre about taking this 5-week course to get access to the shop and learn your way around.

microcontroller and sensor stuff

places to get stuff

software

  • ChucK
  • max/msp/jitter
  • Processing
  • DarwiinRemote_OSC Andreas Schlegel's OSC version of the Wii-sensing DarwiinRemote software (OSX). Comes with a really annoying ChucK code example, which i've modified to a MAUI version which posts incoming data to sliders.
  • intro to UNIX
  • Version of textwrangler hacked for ChucK. in the Preferences, do this: 1. select "languages"; 2. under "Suffix Mappings," hit the "Add" button; 3. set the suffix to ".ck" and under "language" choose C++. Basically, i hacked it to that it uses ChucK keywords instead of C++ keywords, so it'll be confusing if you actually try to hack C++ with this app. but you can always have two copies of Textwrangler and rename one of them. ChuckWranger?

Tentative Schedule and post-Seminar Notes

Week 1: 9/18

Week 2: 9/25

Week 3: 10/02

Week 4: 10/09

Week 5: 10/16

Week 6: 10/23

MIDTERM BREAK

Week 7: 11/6

(PRC Gone)

Week 8: 11/13

  • project brainstorming
    • please come with as much as you can; something to try or show, if possible, and otherwise as much specific as you can

Week 9: 11/20

Week 10: 12/4

  • More machine learning stuff with Rebecca
    • Talk about project ideas, smirk, do some hacking

Week 11: 12/11

Other Stuff

Work in Progress

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