Laptop Orchestras

Huddersfield Experimental Laptop Orchestra HELO

The Huddersfield Experimental Laptop Orchestra (HELO) is a group of laptop based musicians exploring laptop performance practice, composition and improvisation. Based within the Huddersfield University Music Department, the Laptop ensemble is classified as a directed ensemble and is part of the undergraduate program.

HELO was established in 2008 and is directed by Scott Hewitt.

Laptop Orchestra

Founded in 2002 by Philippe Chatelain in Tokyo, the Laptop Orchestra (first in the world to be called under that name) is a project of generative music based on network interactivity and high interdependence between performers. For each concert, a guest musician/performer provides the audio material (source signal) for the orchestra to process through its network of six computers in real time. For each piece of a concert (about 6 to 8 per concerts), an open score is produced, which works on three level: -level 1 indications for the acoustic instrument -level 2 indications for each laptop -level 3 controls the audio matrix and signals routing.

Since 2006, a video network is implemented that analyses each laptops'signal output and produces complementary visuals on 6 screens. The visuals are developed according to writing and memorising patterns after music.

From 2011, the laptop orchestra is moving to Europe with a new line up, advanced music strategies and a new video system. Performances will start by 2012.

Concert with Michel Doneda in 2012 at City Sonic, Mons, Belgium:

Concert with Ko Ishikawa in 2008 at the Kennedy Art Center, Washington DC:

Concert with Michael Wertmuller in Lyon, France, festival Echo Sonore, 2006:

contact: Philippe Chatelain

Princeton Laptop Orchestra

Founded in 2005 by Dan Trueman and Perry Cook, PLOrk takes the traditional model of the orchestra and reinvents it for the 21st century; each laptopist performs with a laptop and custom designed hemispherical speaker that emulates the way traditional orchestral instruments cast their sound in space.

Benoît and the Mandelbrots

Benoît and the Mandelbrots is a laptop band based in Karlsruhe, Germany. They are mainly dedicated to live coding: the process of writing software in real-time to produce sound and music. The ensemble was formed in winter 2009 by students of the IMWI(Institute for Musicology and Musicinformatics) at the University of Music Karlsruhe and consists of four members.

The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana (LOLs)

The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana (LOLs) is a research and performance ensemble dedicated to the exploration of real-time computational technologies and digital media for the purpose of group music making. Inspired by the Princeton (PLOrk) and Stanford (SLork) ensembles, we look to bring the same excitement and virtuosity to the Gulf South, but with our own individual flair. The LOLs are also working on a project called GRENDL (GRid ENabled Deployment for Laptop orchestras), a software layer that manages the distribution, configuration, launching and archiving of computational resources for LOs.

Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk)

Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) was founded in 2008 by director Ge Wang and students, faculty, and staff at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), SLOrk comprises more than 20 laptops, human performers, controllers, and custom multi-channel speaker arrays designed to provide each computer meta-instrument with its own identity and presence, and is the west-coast sibling of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra.

Royal College of Music Laptop Orchestra

The Royal College of Music Laptop Orchestra was founded in 2009 by composer Christopher Chong [] for the purpose of making music through use, abuse and misuse of technology. Rehearsal and performances take place at the Royal College of Music, London in the Class A:APRS Studios. The ensemble is open to anyone at the RCM whether performer or composer. Live-coders and synthesis experts are welcome though a large emphasis is placed on making music with computers without programming.

Carnegie Mellon Laptop Orchestra

The Carnegie Mellon Laptop Orchestra (CMLO) was founded in fall of 2006 as part of an undergraduate class on Computer Music Systems and Information Processing taught by Roger B. Dannenberg. Students implemented a framework for synchronization and communication of high-level music concepts, including beats, measures, chord changes, style, and tempo as described in our ICMC 2007 paper. In the most recent incarnation, students performed in groups of 3 or 4 “rock bands” using similar networked laptops, MIDI sound generation, and many controllers adapted from mice, WII controllers, optical sensors, guitar hero controllers, drum pads, and keyboards. Performers rely on algorithmic music generation rather than traditional instrument-like interfaces. The CMLO expects to take on a new form at each course offering in the spring of even years.

Istanbul Bilgi University Laptop Orchestra (IBULOrk)

Bilgi University Laptop Orchestra (IBULOrk), is a newly established computer-based ensemble with 7 musical instruments each consisting of a laptop computer and interfacing equipments. Founded in the spring of 2009, IBULOrk is the first laptop ensemble of Turkey.

The audience and the students who perform in this ensemble act as both performers and composers. This is a performance to create, explore, learn and experiment which assures its fluidity and uniqueness.

Director: Tolga Tüzün

Manchester Metropolitan University Laptop Ensemble (MMUle)

Manchester Metropolitan University Laptop Ensemble (MMUle) was set up in 2008 by Martin Blain and Jason Woolley, within the Department of Contemporary Arts to explore performance, composition and improvisation through laptop and other technologies.


Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork)

L2Ork stands for Linux Laptop Orchestra, world’s first orchestra of its kind built on Linux. Building upon the foundation established by PLOrk and SLOrk, L2Ork was founded by Dr. Ivica Ico Bukvic in May 2009, as part of Virginia Tech Music Department’s Digital Interactive Sound & Intermedia Studio (DISIS). Apart from genuine interest in exploring novel ways of artistic expression through the newfound genre in a way that also promotes optimal compatibility with other *Orks, L2Ork's particular focus is also on cost efficiency which has allowed it to interface with K-12 education, most recently through the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Virginia. L2Ork's performance practice is also centered almost exclusively around gesture- and choreography-driven performance using various input devices, most commonly consisting of Nintendo Wiimotes.


Barcelona Laptop Orchestra

The Barcelona Laptop Orchestra offered its premiere in June of 2008. It is currently coordinated by Josep M Comajuncosas, teacher in the Sonology Department from the ESMUC (Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya, Their members are teachers and students from this institution and researchers from the MTG (Music Technology Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra,

The ensemble aims to be a meeting point for sound researchers, digital luthiers, performers and composers, focusing on the development of new music control interfaces and new musical paradigms for networked performances, with the laptops playing a central, but not exclusive role. The currently offered repertoire consists mainly of reworked versions of classical electroacoustic works and improvisational sessions. The Esmuc Laptop Orchestra performs regularly around Catalonia, and has also taken part in the 2009 and 2010 editions of the Sound and Music Computing Conference.


Concordia Laptop Orchestra (CLOrk)

CLOrk began at Concordia University's Music Department in Montreal in January 2011. It is made of 24 students who major in electroacoustics and is directed by Eldad Tsabary. The guiding principles in the orchestra's artistic and pedagogical output are “music first; technology follows,” compositional and technological coherence, flexibility, non-uniformity, and allowing room for individual creativity within structured settings. The orchestra's activities involve telematic performances over WAN as well as network-based (wLAN) performances, which include inter-client control via Open Sound Control (OSC). The orchestra is conducted by Tsabary using Soundpainting gestures. CLOrk's first performance took place on January 29th 2011 in a telematic concert with New Music Laptop Ensemble (NuNuLO) at Calgary University (directed by Laurie Radford) and with Scott Smallwood and Mark Hannesson at University of Alberta in Edmonton.


Birmingham Laptop Ensemble (BiLE)

BiLE (Birmingham Laptop Ensemble) are a collaborative group of composers and performers of instrumental and electroacoustic music. Six artists were brought together through their shared interest in live performance and desire to perform and improvise together in an interactive ensemble.

BiLE has an open attitude towards experimentation with sound, allowing members of the group to bring their own tools and musical experience to the ensemble. This enables composers with varied backgrounds to contribute to every aspect of the performance.

BiLE like to experiment with new ideas and technology and are continually developing and intergrating new aspects into their performances. Recently this has included the use of gestural controllers such as iPhones, wiimotes and Xbox Kinect, and introducing interactive elements into the performance where audience members can control aspects of the sound.

BiLE has also developed networking tools which allow its members to communicate whilst using different sound generation platforms. The group is currently based in Birmingham, United Kingdom.