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Tuesday, April 15, 2014
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Members of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, known as PLOrk, perform with instruments ranging from laptops to video game controllers. Above, rising senior Hana Shin plays a wooden instrument that simulates the tone of a traditional orchestra instrument.

Video stills courtesy of Evelyn Tu

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Video feature: PLOrk performs 'A Horde of Premieres and Pianos'

Since its founding in 2005, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk) has inspired the formation of laptop orchestras around the world from Oslo to Bangkok, and has performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York City.

This spring, PLOrk returned to Princeton's Richardson Auditorium to perform seven new works in a show titled "A Horde of Premieres and Pianos." This video documents the spring concert's production, showing segments of the performance and rehearsals as well as new instruments that were introduced during the event.

PLOrk, made up of University faculty, staff and students, 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. The group's instruments include laptop keyboards, graphic tablets, sensors, video game controllers and new wooden instruments that simulate the warmer tones of traditional orchestral instruments. The members also collaborate to develop software, compose music and conduct research.

PLOrk was co-founded by Daniel Trueman, professor of music, and Perry Cook, emeritus professor of computer science. Trueman and Rebecca Fiebrink, an assistant professor of computer science, are PLOrk's directors.

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