150 Musical Acoustics 155/255 Intermedia Workshop 192BAdvanced Sound-Recording Technology 220BCompositional Algorithms, Psychoacoustics, and Computational Music 256B Mobile Music 253 Musical Information and Symbolic Data Interchange 319Research Seminar on Computational Models of Sound Perception 323 Doctoral Seminar in Composition 351Seminar In Music Perception 421AAudio Applications of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) 422Perceptual Audio Coding 451 Research Seminar in Neuroscience of Auditory Perception and Music Cognition
One might argue that staring at a computer monitor on stage is not much different than looking at a musical score, but sometimes it does feel odd to watch a laptop musician constantly staring at the screen. Why is this? Reading from a musical score in a traditional musical performance is not generally seen as a problem; sometimes it is even the norm. A solo pianist is usually expected to play by heart, but a string quartet player usually reads from scores.
The laptop musician often—not always, but often—appears to the audience as an almost motionless performer, completely absorbed by the computer screen. A significant change in terms of stage presence occurs when the need for constantly monitoring the computer screen diminishes and the musician is invited—or required—to look more at the other performers or conductor. In most cases, however, the engima persists: what is actually going on on stage?
A great deal of the theatricality of a laptop orchestra lies in the very fact that we are confronted with, well, a lot of laptops on stage. With one player behind each laptop, and often mimicking or resembling the configuration of a traditional orchestra on stage, the laptop orchestra of today plays directly with our historical notion of an orchestral concert. To some extent, the theater of a laptop orchestra performance is the fact that acoustic instruments (tradition) are replaced by machines with a quasi-futuristic appeal.
In his Traité des Objets Musicaux, first published in 1966, Pierre Schaeffer defined a musical instrument in the following way:
“Tout dispositif qui permet d'obtenir une collection variée d'objets sonores—ou des objets sonores variés—toute en maintenant à l'esprit la permanence d'une cause, est un instrument de musique, au sens traditionnel d'une éxperience commune à toutes les civilisations.” (p. 51)
Access Grid is a flexible video streaming / conferencing system installed on all CCRMA linux machines. It'll share streams globally and also within CCRMA. It's multi-user, not just bi-directional and you can pile up the feeds, making it especially useful for big band distrubuted network performance.
This is with a Logitech USB web cam plugged into a linux station...