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Virginia Tech's laptop orchestra to perform with Boys and Girls Club


Group photo of the L2Ork laptop orchestra L2Ork members (left to right): Ivica Ico Bukvic, music faculty and L2Ork founder and director; Adam Wirdzek of Fairfax, Va., senior, political science major; Bennett Layman of Leesburg, Va., junior, music major; Chris Cummins of Reston, Va., junior, music major; Philip Seward of Newport News, Va., senior, math major; John Elder of Charlottesville, Va., sophomore, industrial-systems engineering major; Hilary Guilliams of Buchanan, Va., sophomore, graphic design major; Elizabeth Ullrich of Staunton, Va., sophomore, biological sciences major; Andrew Street of Midlothian, Va., senior, computer science and math double major; Aurora Martin of Arlington, Va., junior, music major; David Mudre of Fredericksburg, Va., senior, music technology major; Steven Querry of Leesburg, Va., senior, music technology major.

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 6, 2011 – On Saturday, April 9, at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Squires Recital Salon, Virginia Tech’s Linux Laptop Orchestra, also known as L2Ork (pronounced LORK), will perform with fourth and fifth graders from the Boys and Girls Club of Roanoke, Va., as part of ArtsFusion. The concert is presented by Digital Interactive Sound and Intermedia Studio (DISIS) in collaboration with ArtsFusion, the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech,the Roanoke Boys and Girls Club, Kid’s Tech University, the School of Performing Arts and Cinema, and the School of Visual Arts.

The Boys and Girls Club laptop orchestra will perform both with and without L2Ork, followed by an interactive, hands-on demonstration for audience members on stage. L2Ork will perform at 8 p.m. Tickets for each showing are $5 for the general public and $3 for students, children, and seniors, or $8 for general public and $5 for students, children, and seniors for both shows. Tickets can be purchased at the Squires Box Office beginning at 6 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club; larger donations are welcomed.

L2Ork is directed by founder Ivica Ico Bukvic, a faculty member in the Department of Music. Virginia Tech’s laptop orchestra is the first Linux-based orchestra in the world with a focus on ultra-affordable design. The Linux operating system is freely available for download and the hardware the orchestra utilizes is inexpensive, from MSI Wind Notebooks to wooden salad bowls that are adapted into speakers. Costs are kept low to encourage widespread adoption of the technology and potential for application in PK-12 and higher learning environments.

L2Ork, along with the fourth and fifth graders from the Boys and Girls Club of Roanoke, will perform at the concert using controllers that are typically used in computer game play to orchestrate music through lap top computers. Orchestra members hold the controllers to manipulate their music’s volume, pitch, sound color, and more. L2Ork’s premiere concert was held in December of 2009 to a standing room-only crowd.

The Boys and Girls Club and L2Ork will also be performing together on April 8 at the Dumas Center in Roanoke.

L2Ork will be touring Europe from May 12 to June 2, performing and making presentations in Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Germany, The Netherlands, France, and Norway, in addition to participating in international festivals, conferences, workshops, and lectures. The laptop orchestra has had two tours in the past year in the Midwest and North Carolina, and recently performed at SEAMUS, the largest national conference in computer music in Miami, Fla. The “Half-Life” composition, which was originally written for L2Ork, has won first prize in the first international laptop orchestra composition commission sponsored by the MONSTER laptop orchestra at Montana State University. In 2010, L2Ork won the university’s XCaliber Award, which recognizes teams of faculty, staff, and/or students who have made significant contributions to integrating technology in teaching and learning in a course or project.

Free parking is available in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street or the Architecture Annex Lot also on Otey Street. Find more parking information online or call (540) 231-3200.

Launched in 2005 as an arts initiative, Arts@Virginia Tech encompasses all efforts within departments and colleges and at the university level to expand creative practice and support interdisciplinary learning, engagement, and discovery through the arts. The cornerstone project of Arts@Virginia Tech is the Moss Arts Center, which houses the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech professional presenting program; the university-level Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology; and television and lab spaces for the Department of Communication.