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- The recoup of sound proximity by the performer doesn't come without new problems. A more sophisticated vocabulary of “instrumental” gestures would certainly help to infuse the regained sound localization with new meaning; but a rich gestural vocabulary (if possible at all) has not yet developed, having been limited up to now to relatively simple connections between gesture and sound.
One of the biggest differences of some modern laptop orchestras in relation to other laptop ensembles is the utilization of dedicated speakers next to each performer.
- When ten or twenty musicians sit on the floor on colorful cushions with their laptops sitting on nice little breakfast tables in front of them, a theatrical situation is created: the audience is led to accept those everyday objects as musical instruments in some way (more, perhaps, than when a solo laptop performer sits on stage). It is a kind of implicit pact that the public seems generally willing to accept.
- By using external controllers of various sorts (usually of a more “gestural” nature, beyond the keyboard-and-trackpad paradigm), a laptop performer engages on gestural activity that reconnects her, at least on one level, with the dimension of movement as discussed in my previous tentative definition of musical instrument.
- 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...
Bluetooth applet : preferences : make computer discoverable
System : Preferences : Personal File Sharing : 1) Share public files on network 2) share public files over bluetooth 3) Require remote devices to bond with this computer 4) Receive files in Downloads folder via bluetooth 5) Notify about received files
Bluetooth applet : Setup new device
(from phone) select pic & send via bluetooth
(from f12) Bluetooth applet :send files to device