Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk)

TitleStanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk)
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWang, G., N. Bryan, J. Oh, and R. Hamilton
Conference NameInternational Computer Music Conference
Date Published08/2009
Conference LocationMontreal
Keywordsccrma, slork, stanford laptop orchestra

In the paper, we chronicle the instantiation and adventures of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk), an ensemble of laptops, humans, hemispherical speaker arrays, interfaces, and, more recently, mobile smart phones. Motivated to deeply explore computer-mediated live performance, SLOrk provides a platform for research, instrument design, sound design, new paradigms for composition, and performance.  It also offers a unique classroom combining music, technology, and live performance. Founded in 2008, SLOrk was built from the ground-up by faculty and students at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). This document describes 1) how the founding members built the Stanford Laptop Orchestra from laptops, IKEA salad bowls, amplifier kits, car speakers, meditation mats and pillows, commodity input devices, and custom software, 2) the initial performances of SLOrk, including a large-scale outdoor concert, as well as a networked concert between Stanford and Beijing, and 3) the Stanford Laptop Orchestra as a classroom.  In doing so, we hope to present a history of the laptop orchestra, and look to its future.