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SCLOrk (Laptop Orchestra)
What is SCLOrk?
SCLOrk (the Santa Clara Laptop Orchestra) is an innovative ensemble of up to sixteen players dedicated to the creation and performance of live electronic music. Created in the Spring of 2012 by SCU faculty and students, this interdisciplinary group explores the intersections of music composition, live performance, human interaction design, computer programming, and sound design, with emphasis on musical creativity based on cutting-edge technologies. Along with the fun of music making and music hacking, SCLOrk strives to keep an eye on the culture, context, and social impact of the rapidly changing landscape of modern electronic music, thus actively seeking collaborations with regional and international artists, as well as participating and contributing to the local electronic music scene.
Recent SCLOrk performances
February 19, 2014, San Jose Convention Center (Global Innovation Summit Closing Party)
A blog post about SCLOrk:
The Santa Clara Laptop Orchestra meets officially as a class every Spring (MUS 157), and unofficially as an ensemble throughout the rest of the year in an ad-hoc basis. SCLOrk is open to all SCU students. Space permitting, enthusiastic faculty and staff may also become members. No audition or previous music background required. Rehearsals include a lot of hands-on fun with electronic sounds, as well as focused creative work to learn existing pieces and create new ones. Every performer can also be a composer. Each SCLOrk station includes a peculiar combination of equipment such as a laptop, a coffee table, wiimote and pad controllers, a loudspeaker, and a yoga mat. The class culminates with a concert at the end of the Srping quarter. Contact Bruno Ruviaro (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Spring 2014: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2pm to 3:40pm
The Big Picture
SCLOrk builds upon the shared experience of other similar ensembles such as the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk), Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk), and the Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork) from Virginia Tech.
There is tons of past and current research about the origins and motivations of creating a laptop orchestra; we encourage you to read some of the great available resources offered on the websites of those pioneer ensembles. Some of the interesting questions and topics brought up by laptop orchestras are:
- How can we reinvent the traditional orchestra model for the 21st century?
- What is an electronic music instrument? What are the challenges of creating a new instrument?
- How does a networked ensemble change the ways we create and perform electronic music?
- Reconciling Arts and Sciences: what can we learn from the rich, multidisciplinary educational environment of the laptop orchestra?
Each SCLOrk station consists of:
- Laptop (Dell Vostro 2420, IntelCore i3, 4GB RAM, 320GB HD) running Ubuntu Linux 12.04
- USB audio interface (Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6)
- Loudspeaker (JBL LSR 2300)
- Wiimote and Nunchuck controllers
- QuNeo 3D pad controller
- Korg nanoKONTROL
- Colorful yoga cushions
- Small laptop tables
- Cables, cables, cables
All laptops run Ubuntu Linux 12.04 with a lowlatency kernel. Each laptop is loaded with a nice collection of open source music software such as SuperCollider, Pd, Ardour, SooperLooper, Hydrogen, and many others. Most of our pieces are made with SuperCollider and Pd (PureData).
For more information or questions about SCLOrk, please contact Bruno Ruviaro (bruviaro at scu dot edu).