PLOrk fall2006/AssignmentOne

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"Small Sounds Sketches" : Create a Performance for 5 Laptops (no additional amplification)

  • due: in class | Thursday, September 28th, 2006
  • design a live musical performance using 4 or 5 laptops
  • the only audio amplifications available will be the onboard laptop speakers.
  • pieces should be 2 to 4 minutes in duration
  • see completed works

Some Potential Issues to Consider

  • how will be the piece be performed? who/what will perform it?
  • how will the piece engage the performers? how will it engage the audience?
  • will there be a conductor? if so, how should the performance be conducted?
  • what sounds to employ, especially given the constraint of using only laptop speakers?
  • what software(s), hardware (if any), acoustic instruments (if any), will you use?
  • what are the roles of the laptops in the performance? of the humans?


  • since we haven't begun covering the technical issues (networking, MIDI input, sensors, programming etc.), you may not be able to implement desired features (for example, you might want MIDI keyboard or mouse input, or synchronization). Do your best with what you got. also see next point:
  • programming is of course allowed, but not mandatory in this project (we'll be writing a lot of code later on). Remember this should be "laptop-mediated", but beyond that you are free to do and use whatever you choose. However, do pay attention to to computer-human interaction.
  • simple is good - this project is sort of intentionally constrained in many ways (time, frequency response of output medium, available tools). have fun with it!


  • in class performance
  • instructions, if any, for human performers
  • instructions, if any, for human conductors
  • instructions, if any, for the laptop (programs, sound files)
  • program notes, if any
  • special requirements (spatial, lighting, etc.), if any
  • README file explaining your approach in creating the performance, what tools you used, any difficulties you encountered, and any additional notes.