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Albert examines improvisation in laptop orchestras

January 25, 2013

Imagine a stage filled with seated musicians. Instead of playing traditional instruments such as violins and trombones, they are making music with their laptop computers. Jeff Albert, extraordinary assistant professor of music industry studies at Loyola University New Orleans, explores how these laptop orchestras integrate technology and musical improvisation in his recent article published in the peer-reviewed academic journal, Critical Studies in Improvisation.

Albert’s article, “Improvisation as Tool and Intention: Organizational Practices in Laptop Orchestras and Their Effect on Personal Musical Approaches,” examines the variety of improvisational practices in laptop orchestras and ensembles.

Laptop orchestras investigate how computers can be integrated into conventional music-making for a new kind of musical performance. According to Albert, who conducts Loyola's laptop orchestra, the Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, laptop orchestras have developed out of musical situations rooted in the Western European classical tradition. Although this tradition has lost much of its connection to improvisation, the rise of laptop orchestras has re-introduced improvisation as a fertile musical practice.

For more information, contact Albert at 504-865-2606 or jvalbert@loyno.edu.

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