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Loyola's laptop orchestra presents free concert

March 8, 2013

Extraordinary Assistant Professor of Music Industry Studies Jeff Albert conducts the Electro-Acoustic Ensemble.

Performers from across the globe are putting down their instruments and picking up their laptops to create a new kind of 21st century musical presentation—the laptop orchestra. By integrating computers into conventional music making, these new ensembles are reinventing the traditional orchestral model. The Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, Loyola University New Orleans’ own laptop orchestra, will offer a glimpse into this modern musical marvel during a free concert Tuesday, March 12.

The event is open to the public and will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, located in the Communications/Music Complex on Loyola’s main campus.

The Electro-Acoustic Ensemble uses ChucK, a music programming software developed at Princeton University, and Max/MSP, a graphical music programming language, to develop and execute compositions created exclusively for the laptop. By using keyboards, game controllers and mini-drum pads, the performers are able to sample and manipulate traditional sounds into new, modified electronic versions.

According to Extraordinary Assistant Professor of Music Industry Studies Jeff Albert, who conducts the Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, laptop orchestras are simply an exploration of imagination. “Being a part of the laptop orchestra helps these students to realize their creativity and tap into it for their own pursuits, both academically and professionally,” Albert said. “Whether these students are musicians, filmmakers or promoters, they can bring this new creativity back to what they do.”

The program will include Ge Wang’s “CliX,” a standard of laptop orchestras worldwide, as well as original compositions by Albert, Scott Hewitt and the Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, among others. For Albert’s piece, “Forbidden Butch,” the guest performers and Loyola faculty members Janna Saslaw, Ph.D., on flute, James P. Walsh on piano, and Ray Moore on saxophone, will join the ensemble.

The creative exploration is not just limited to the performers; the audience will walk away with a new experience as well, according to Albert. “It’s best to come to this concert with no expectations, but it’s definitely a thought-provoking performance and a serious art form,” he said.

For more information, contact Jess Brown in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5882.

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