Apple links with the University of York for world's first laptop orchestra

Nov 15, 2007

50 music students from the University of York will perform three orchestral pieces on laptop computers at concerts this month. They will form the largest digital ensemble of its kind anywhere in the world.

The Worldscape Laptop Orchestra (WLO) will perform new music written with laptops supplied by Apple Computer Inc.

The multimedia performance has been created by students of the Department of Music at York in just five weeks. WLO is designed and directed by Dr Ambrose Field, an award-winning composer in the Department.

The full range of software functionality is used in the performance – including video detection where hand movements of performers are decoded by Apple Macbooks into musical events. The 50 laptops use ‘Airport’ wireless internet to communicate, sharing audio and control data. The concerts will be streamed live from the University’s website.

Musicians, each with a laptop, will be seated on the floor, and surrounded by video screens in an atmospheric lighting scheme, creating a stunning spectacle. The highly unusual sound of the orchestra will combine with this to produce an ‘immersive’ multimedia performance.

Ambrose Field highlights the musical integrity of the project. “The computers become musical instruments in this performance. We set out to push the boundaries of human interaction with computers in the WLO, enabling 50 people to explore musical performance in a way which was previously not possible.”

Paul McFadden of Apple said: "Universities and companies often collaborate on research and innovation. This project is exciting for us because it's innovation at its most creative - it opens up a whole new vista of using technology in performance."

Philip Morris, Business Development Manager at the University of York said: “The Worldscape Laptop Orchestra bridges the arts/science divide by bringing advanced computing and video technologies into the concert hall. Digital processing has become an art form.”

Source: University of York

Explore further: Iliad founder says T-Mobile offer is 'real'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cheers to better beer foam

May 09, 2014

(Phys.org) —It's an unlikely beer-drinking toast: "Here's to El-Tee-Pee-Won!" Yet, the secret to optimal foam in the head of a freshly poured brew, according to Cornell food science research, is just the ...

Internet TV case: US justices skeptical, concerned

Apr 23, 2014

Grappling with fast-changing technology, U.S. Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in ...

Google and fellow tech giants move into shopping malls

Dec 19, 2013

The glowing winter wonderland inside the mall here, adorned with fake snow and pulsing with electronic music, beckons weary holiday shoppers. But there's no Santa, and no elves; instead, tablets and laptops are the lure of ...

Recommended for you

Malaysia's Mahathir calls for Internet censorship

1 hour ago

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has called for the Internet to be censored to preserve "public morality", in what the opposition suggested Saturday was an attempt to silence government critics.

Hitchhiking robot thumbs its way across Canada

1 hour ago

A talking robot assembled from household odds and ends is hitchhiking thousands of kilometers across Canada this summer as part of a social experiment to see if those of its kind can trust humans.

Iliad founder says T-Mobile offer is 'real'

10 hours ago

French telecom upstart Iliad's founder said Friday that the company's offer for US-based T-Mobile is "real" and that he is open to working with partners on a deal.

Law changed to allow 'unlocking' cellphones

11 hours ago

President Barack Obama signed a bill into law on Friday making it legal once again to unlock a cellphone without permission from a wireless provider, so long as the service contract has expired.

Social network challenges end in tragedy

11 hours ago

Online challenges daring people to set themselves ablaze or douse themselves in ice water are racking up casualties and fueling wonder regarding idiocy in the Internet age.

User comments : 0