PLOrk: the Princeton Laptop Orchestra
First performing in 2006, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, or 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. Wireless networking and video augment the familiar role of the conductor, suggesting unprecedented ways of organizing large ensembles.
Originally founded by Dan Trueman and Perry Cook, the group is currently directed by composer and instrument designer Jeff Snyder, and features new electronic instruments that arise from his research. Assisting in leadership of the group are Jason Treuting (Associate Director) and Matthew Wang (Assistant Director). Performers and composers who have worked with PLOrk include Zakir Hussain, Pauline Oliveros, Matmos, So Percussion, the American Composers Orchestra, and others. In the past 11 years, PLOrk has performed widely—presented by Carnegie Hall, the Northwestern Spring Festival in Chicago, the American Academy of Sciences in DC, the Kitchen (NYC), 92Y and others—and has inspired the formation of laptop orchestras across the world, from Oslo to Bangkok.