UP College of Music, University of British Columbia collaborate for laptop orchestra music concert

HSBC Philippines
UP computer musical instrument
UP Diliman will collaborate with the UBC Laptop Orchestra that has pioneered in transforming the body into a musical instrument using computers. Photo from UBC News.

Expect the unexpected when the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Music, collaborating with the University of British Columbia (UBC)-School of Music, stages a one-of-a-kind concert that despite its name, hardly touches the laptop computer on stage.

Audiences at the free concert will witness UP and UBC programmers and musicians showcase their joint computer music compositions in a unique concert that will not use traditional music instruments – and instead use computers, dance sensors, and light activations.

The UBC Laptop Orchestra was pioneered by Dr. Keith Hamel and Dr. Bob Pritchard and a group of music and engineering students who use technologies that capture physical movement to transform the human body into a musical instrument.

“The body movements trigger programmed synthetic instruments or modify the sound of their live instruments in real-time. They strap motion sensors to their bodies and instruments… and create adventurous electroacoustic music using programmed and acoustic instruments, including harp, piano, clarinet and violin,” according to the UBC report on the UBC Laptop Orchestra.

UBC Professors Dr. Keith Hamel authored the software for the interactive sound and sensors while Dr. Bob Pritchard masterminds the software’s applications and performances.

Ahead of the Philippine concert, the UBC School of Music digital performance ensemble (Sonic UBC Laptop Sounds and Sensors –SUBCLASS) has been working online with the UP Diliman students. When they arrive in the country on February 17, they will work with UP Composition majors to create and develop works inspired by the Asian elements of fire, water, wind and earth, according to the UP Diliman What’s UP calendar.

UP guest lecturer Tad Ermitano trained the UP students on Pure Data graphic programming while UP’s Composition and Theory Department faculty member Dr. Maria Christine Muyco organized activities around the students’ compositions.

The UP-UBC Laptop Orchestra Music Concert is scheduled on February 27, 2020, at 7pm at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium. The concert is free to the public.

The University of the Philippines had also recently established its own UP Symphony Orchestra.

SEND CHEERS to the UP-UBC collaboration for innovative ways of creating music!

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Aurora Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.