PLOrk : 2014 : Machine Yearning

Maracatu Mobile Percussion Parade
Machine Yearning

Taplin Auditorium 8pm April 23rd, 2014

Jeff Snyder
Assistant Director
Cenk Ergun
Molly Bolten
Noah Fishman
Mike Mulshine
Avneesh Sarwate
A.K. Williams
by PLOrk
wih special guests Sam Hilmer (saxophone) and Jason Treuting (drums)

This piece is an improvisation where the laptop orchestra takes audio live from the two acoustic instruments. Each member of the orchestra can record and manipulate the sound of the saxophone or drums and use that sound for their own purposes.
by PLOrk
software by Avneesh Sarwate
with special guest Sam Hilmer (saxophone)

This piece is a structured improvisation, guided by written instructions that are chosen on the fly. Each member of the ensemble is using the SkipStep software that PLOrk member Avneesh wrote, controlling a step sequencer and generating live variations on musical patterns. The "conductors" who guide the performance with instructions can steer the length of performers patterns, the pitch level, the tempo, the density of the material, and the amount of "noise" or randomization.
Mobile Pecrussion Parade
by PLOrk
in collaboration with Sarah Town and Amanda Lawrence

Now we ask the audience to follow PLOrk out of the hall and to the venue for the final piece of the concert in a mobile electronic percussion parade. We'll be playing our own electronic arrangement of a Brazilian Maracatu song by Estrela Brilhante.
Machine Yearning
by PLOrk
with special guest THE ROBOT
robot programming by Ryan Luke Johns, Axel Kilian, and Charlie Avis
projection by Gene Kogan

This piece takes place at the Arch Lab, behind the Frick Chemistry Building a short walk away from the hall. You'll be led to the site by PLOrk with the percussion parade, and arrive at an outdoor space where the performance will take place. This collaboration came about through Axel Kilian, a professor in the Architecture department, who acquired an industrial robot for his department and was dreaming up interesting artistic projects in which to use it. A collaboration with PLOrk sounded like a great idea, so we went to work putting it together. Most of the sounds you hear are produced by the electromagnetic fields generated by the motors of the robot as it moves - we worked out the software to be able to program the robot to play specific pitches. PLOrk members amplify and alter these audio signals and add our own sounds to the texture. Thanks so much to everyone involved for their hard work on putting this together!