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Composing for a Networked, Pulse-Based, Laptop Orchestra*

  • David Ogborn (a1)

Abstract

Guided by the idea of participatory culture, networked pulse synchronisation and live coding have been core approaches in the activity of the Cybernetic Orchestra, an electronic performance ensemble at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. Following general discussion of the way in which networked pulse-based music and live coding work within this orchestra, there is specific discussion of a number of compositional models and practices that have been found effective, including code-sharing, instruction-scores, code as material, and physical performance.

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The author would like to thank the members of the Cybernetic Orchestra (2010–11) for their creativity and enthusiasm, and research assistants Alyssa Lai, Stephanie Moore and Rob Petti for their invaluable assistance. This ongoing research has been supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Image, Text and Sound Technology programme, as well as by the Arts Research Board of McMaster University.

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References

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Collins, N., McLean, A., Rohrhuber, J., Ward, A. 2003. Live Coding Techniques for Laptop Performance. Organised Sound 8(3): 321330.
Emmerson, S. 2008. Pulse, Meter, Rhythm in Electro-acoustic Music. Paris: Electroacoustic Music Studies Network http://www.ems-network.org/ems08/papers/emmerson.pdf.
Jenkins, H., Katie, Clinton., Ravi, Purushotma., Alice, J.Robinson., Margaret, Weigel. 2006. Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Chicago, IL: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
McLean, A., Griffiths, D., Collins, N., Wiggins, G. 2010. Visualisation of Live Code. Paper presented at the conference Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, London.
Neill, B. 2002. Pleasure Beats: Rhythm and Aesthetics of Current Electronic Music. Leonard Music Journal 12: 36.
Smallwood, S., Trueman, D., Cook, P.R., Wang, G. 2008. Composing for Laptop Orchestra. Computer Music Journal 32(1): 925.
Wang, G., Perry, Cook. 2004. On-the-fly Programming: Using Code as an Expressive Musical Instrument. Proceedings of the 2004 International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), Singapore.
Wessel, D., Wright, M. 2002. Problems and Prospects for Intimate Musical Control of Computers. Computer Music Journal 26(3): 1122.

Composing for a Networked, Pulse-Based, Laptop Orchestra*

  • David Ogborn (a1)

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