June 6, 2012
Laptop orchestra presents the challenging problem of pleasing the audience, the composers and the performers with the same system. The composers want control over the arc of the piece and the exploration of an idea that they find intriguing.
The networking scripts use OSC and are written in ChucK. The visualizer is made in OpenGL. The GUI for the performers is made as a Max/MSP runtime script.
The performers demand that the system require some creative input from them and that they feel that their presence changes the piece significantly. They are given complete control over the sounds that come out of their laptop and who they choose to connect to and collaborate with. The composers might guide the connections and parameters of sounds, but the performer is in complete control of his laptop
The composers can define the overall arc of the piece by creating the sections in the score to have a specific number of connections and hence the density of the sounds. They also can hand pick the choice of sounds available to each performer. They are in control of the score display on each performer's GUI through the server controls and can even manually override the density by changing the global tempo