Yesterday, I gave a presentation at the first ever Symposium for Laptop Ensembles and Orchestras at Louisiana State University. I worked with Stephen David Beck, Jesse Allison and Rebecca Fiebrink as a member of the executive committee to help organize this event, so it has been really rewarding to see this conference come together.
My talk surveyed mentions in news media items of laptop music and tried to identify trends and stereotypes. The goal was to identify key articles that helped to expose large general audiences to the trend of laptops on stage and demonstrate the way instrument language has been grafted onto the laptop. I also looked at how the THE stereotype (“how do I know they aren’t just checking email?”) has been with us from almost the beginning of this news media coverage. You can download materials from my talk at the links below.
Stetson’s own Mobile Performance Group also put in a performance at the opening reception (an authentic crawfish boil that was poolside at the hotel) on Sunday night. Our undergrads put in a lot of hard work to make that happen, which makes me very proud to be their professor. They are also gaining a lot of valuable perspective as we take in the rest of the symposium.
It’s been a great experience so far. I look forward to taking in the rest of the symposium today and seeing where this gathering of professionals goes from here! Special thanks to Steve and Jesse and the rest of the LSU crew for being great hosts.