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The Insomniac for Laptop Orchestra - Jacob Stenzel

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Published on Jul 3, 2015

The Insomniac is a piece that follows the thoughts and mindset of one that has fallen victim to an unwilling stream of thought that obscures judgement, fosters anxiety, and keeps mental clarity at bay. This theme is explored specifically through the concept of insomnia, the unwilling wakefulness at the hand of these stray but persistent thoughts, and features quotes by Sophia Vilar, Elizabeth Hildebrand, and Amelia Dirks, and Jacob Stenzel that are digitally twisted and contorted over the course of the performance.

This piece was coded in the Pure Data visual programming language (picture something like LabVIEW, but for signal processing, and you'll get the idea) for 16 laptops running pd-l2ork, Ico Bukvic's in-house distribution of Pure Data. All of the instruments are designed to be interfaced with via Wii Remote. The piece was performed by Virginia Tech's own L2Ork Linux Laptop Orchestra during the DISIS 2015 spring concert on May 4th, 2015, in The Cube at the Virginia Tech Moss Arts Center. The piece was written for 14 performers and 1 conductor (a role I had the pleasure of undertaking!). The performance featured 4 unique patches/instruments. The piece and its associated instruments were put together over the span of a year and then rehearsed over the course of a month to yield this performance, one I am very proud of, both as a composer and a programmer. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

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