For this week’s looking outwards, I looked into a concept of computer orchestra. The computer orchestra was created by group of students from ECAL, which stands for the University of Art and Design of Lausanne, Switzerland in 2013. What is interesting about their project is that the compute orchestra is not an orchestra based on computer generated sound but sounds that users upload to a server that’s later integrated into a form of an orchestra. Just like any other human orchestra, there is a conductor (a person) and musicians (computers). Rather than describing it in words, It’s really easier to understand the concept when you look at the attached video above. The way that the voices uploaded to the server is played according to gestures of the conductor; of course, conductor’s gestures are programmed accordingly and conductor can control so many aspects of the orchestra just by using his or her body. The students programmed the computer orchestra using Processing, SimpleOpenNi, and Ableton Live. On their website, they also specified that they used 10-12 computers, tripods, and Kinect.
Computer Orchestra is an interactive installation consisting of multiple computers. Close to a configuration of a classical orchestra, it proposes a new approach to music by allowing the user to conduct his/her own orchestra.
Movements of his/her hands are recognized accurately with a Kinect motion controller connected to a central computer. It will then give instructions to a multitude of musician screens. Screen-musicians then not only send sounds back to the conductor but also produce visual feedback.