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Princeton Laptop Orchestra to perform new music with special guests

Saturday, May 16, 2009, 8 p.m. Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall

The Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk) -- in collaboration with renowned sound art duo Matmos, the Brooklyn-based ensemble So Percussion and shakuhachi master Riley Lee -- will present a program of new works at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 16, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

In addition to new arrangements of music from Matmos' "Supreme Balloon" and So Percussion's "Amid the Noise," the program will feature works by Princeton seniors Michael Hammond and Tom Lieber and graduate students Jascha Narveson, Cameron Britt, Rebecca Fiebrink, Michael Early, Sean Friar and Ted Coffey.

PLOrk is an ensemble of 30 laptopists -- the first of its size and kind. Founded in 2005 by Princeton faculty members Dan Trueman and Perry Cook, the group has reinvented the traditional orchestra model for the 21st century with each musician performing with a laptop and custom-designed hemispherical speaker.

PLOrk has worked with guest performers and composers, including tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain and accordionist and composer Pauline Oliveros. It has performed at Carnegie Hall, and it has inspired the formation of other laptop orchestras around the world.

The internationally acclaimed ensemble So Percussion is known for exploring the expressive possibilities of percussion. M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel, who are Matmos, make live performances and recordings using the sounds of everything from amplified crayfish nerve tissue to the pages of Bibles turning to a bowed five-string banjo. Riley Lee began playing the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) in Japan in 1971 and was the first non-Japanese person to achieve the rank of grand master in 1980. He co-taught at class at Princeton this spring.

PLOrk has received funding from the MacArthur Foundation; the David Gardner '69 Magic Fund; and the Princeton University Redistribution Initiative, Council on Science and Technology, School for Engineering and Applied Science and Department of Music.

Tickets to the concert are $15 for general admission and free to Tiger Tickets holders. They are available online through University Ticketing or by calling (609) 258-9220.

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