Research Postgraduate Commissioned to Write for Laptop Orchestra

15 October 2013

Research postgraduate Vanissa Law (PhD, interactive electroacoustic music) is presenting a world premiere of her piece Plain: a choral work for 10 hands, commissioned by a laptop orchestra "Electric Company," at the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity this weekend.

"I am excited and honoured to receive this opportunity to work with a laptop orchestra," Vanissa said. "This is a rare occasion for me, indeed, when I can explore ways in which the computer can be integrated into conventional music-making context." Vanissa investigates the possibilities between gesture and sound by hacking a newly released motion sensor- the Leap Motion Controller. "I believe gestures are innate and intuitive vehicle for the communication of emotions, however expressive control over musical instruments often involves years of practice. Will it be awesome if music can be made by just waving our hands?"

A custom-built program and interface were developed by the composer so that the Leap Motion Controller converts hand gestures of the players into data that are ultimately converted into sound. The controller was originally designed as an analogy to a mouse without contact. It was launched three months ago and is yet efficiently implemented for making music.

The program also featured as its centrepiece a new audio-visual version of computer music guru Paul Lansky's Pattern's pattern, and three other world premieres of local composers Lam Lai, Tang Lok Yin, and Saccia Pellegrini. "Electric Company: an orchestra of laptops" takes place on Friday and Saturday night, 18-19th October at multi-media theatre of HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity.


Research postgraduate Vanissa Law (PhD, interactive electroacoustic music)


Vanissa Law is presenting her piece Plain with the laptop orchestra "Electric Company" this weekend.


A custom-built program and interface were developed to convert hand gestures into sound.


Laptop orchestra "Electric Company" rehearsing works by Vanissa Law and other composers.