Laptop orchestra to perform March 4 in free concert

Music Technology at Mason Gross (MTMG) will present a free concert featuring the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk, at left) on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. The concert, also featuring a performance by the newly formed Rutgers Interactive Music Ensemble (RIME), will take place in Mortensen Hall’s Shindell Choral Hall. No tickets are required.

The Princeton Laptop Orchestra, or PLOrk, established in 2006 in Princeton University’s Music Department, takes the traditional model of the orchestra and reinvents it for the 21st century. Each laptopist performs with a laptop and a custom-designed hemispherical speaker that emulates the way traditional orchestral instruments cast their sound in space. Composer and instrument designer Jeff Snyder directs PLOrk, whose performances feature new electronic instruments that arise from his research. Performers and composers who have worked with PLOrk include Zakir Hussain, Pauline Oliveros, Matmos, So Percussion, and the American Composers Orchestra. PLOrk has performed widely—presented by Carnegie Hall, the Northwestern Spring Festival in Chicago, the American Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., the Kitchen, and 92Y, among others—and has inspired the formation of laptop orchestras across the world.

At Rutgers, PLOrk will perform work by Jeff Snyder, Earle Brown, and the ensemble, incorporating a graphical score, animated notation, and the sonification of biological models of neurons. 

The Rutgers Interactive Music Ensemble (RIME), directed by Mason Gross professor Steven Kemper, will open the concert with pieces by Joo Won Park, Kristina Warren, and the ensemble, works that use laptops as instruments and merge acoustic instruments and electronic sound. Also: Catch RIME on Monday, April 9, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. performing a free concert at the Blanche & Irving Laurie Performing Arts Library (Douglass Library), 8 Chapel Drive, Douglass Campus.

The concert is part of Mason Gross Presents, an event series featuring esteemed visiting artists and top-notch student artists.

Mortensen Hall is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. For more information about any Mason Gross event, visit or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 848-932-7511.

Photo of PLOrk onstage, 2018, by Chris Douthitt.

Information accurate as of February 2018.