La fressa d'en Glen

Glen’s Rumblings from Barcelona

Of Laptops and Orchestras

This fall I joined the Barcelona Laptop Orchestra, a technically-saavy musical ensemble founded by folks from the Sonology Group at ESMUC (l’Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya) and the Music Technology Group at UPF (Universitat Pompeu Fabra). They also allow a few of us non-affiliated “outsiders” to join, thankfully…

If you’re up for a bit of Catalan practice, you can read this great blog post/interview about us (essentially, trying to answer the question: “what is a laptop orchestra?").

If you’re up for more Catalan practice (hey, you can never have enough), there was a TV report about our most recent performance (with wine pairings!) on November 10, at the Claustre Sant Francesc in Vilafranca del Penedès. This was for Vinfonies, a sonically-experimental wine festival. It had several major benefits (for us, at least):

  • try out new repertoire in a low-stress setting
  • drink some really good, performance-enhancing, wine (for free)
  • have a chance to perform in an unusual and beautiful setting

You can watch the report from RTV Vilafranca here.

I am busily (and happily) coding away on the framework for some of our next pieces.

I think we all realize that “laptop orchestra” can be a confusing term…what does it mean? Does it have some dubious connotation (e.g. if the music is lively, might it lead to “laptop dancing”?). Thankfully, my friend Roger (who introduced me to the group) – a wonderful illustrator – has given us this clarifying comic:

Laptop Orchestra (by Roger Pibernat)