New Laptop Orchestra Piece: Click-It

Yesterday I was teaching a workshop on laptop orchestra performance for the students in Live electronics at the Norwegian Academy of Music. I usually start such workshops by playing the piece Clix by Ge Wang (see e.g. here for a performance of it). It is a fun piece to play, and it is nice to show the students something else than Max patches.

Unfortunately, while setting up for the workshop I had problems getting Chuck to work on my new laptop. I haven’t had time to figure out what the problem actually is, but I think it may be an issue with OSX Lion. Anyways, since I was short on time I decided that the quickest solution was just to make something similar to Clix in Max. The result is Click-It, and the GUI looks like this:

Click it GUI

The inside of the patch is not very advanced either. It is mainly a click~ object controlled by a metro, with some amplitude adjustments and a little bit of delay and feedback.

Click it Insides

This may not be so interesting in itself, but the beauty of this thing comes with 10 or so computers playing it at the same time. Unfortunately, I didn’t make a video of the students performing it yesterday, so that will have to wait until next time it is played.

The patch is available from our fourMs web page. I had almost forgot that we have a repository for the Oslo Laptop Orchestra over at Google Code. That repository is severely out of date, though, and needs some cleaning up and updating at some point. The main reason for the sloppy maintenance is that the laptop orchestra has been kind of dormant over the last few years, since most of our energy has been put into Oslo iPhone Ensemble instead. That said, although the iPhone ensemble is a lot fun, laptop orchestras have some other qualities that I would like to get back to exploring more again at some point.

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Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.