Jeff Snyder is a composer, improviser and instrument-designer living in Princeton, New Jersey.
PLOrk, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, presents Mirror Displays, a collection of pieces that explore audio-visual interaction possibilities, featuring experimental trombone duo RAGE Thormbones as special guest artists. Pieces feature electronically processed tap dance, live-coded orchestral sounds, trombones equipped with custom electronics to provide musical control of feedback, a piece of music that is also simultaneously a video game, live group-typed spoken word poetry, tap dance-controlled lights, and a piece where the audience’s cellphones are part of the musical soundscape.
This year’s performers: Jeff Snyder (director), Chris Douthitt (associate director), Mike Mulshine (assistant director), Raphael Forment, Josh Becker, Nikitas Tampakis, Matt Wang, Abbie Minard, Alex Cavoli, Anna Meadors, James Bartusek, Claire Hu, Liam Elliot, Maya Stepanski, Jess Rowland, and special guests RAGE Thormbone
About the Artist:
First performing in 2006, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, or PLOrk, takes the traditional model of the orchestra and reinvents it for the 21st century. Each laptopist performs with a laptop and custom designed hemispherical speaker that emulates the way traditional orchestral instruments cast their sound in space. Wireless networking and video augment the familiar role of the conductor, suggesting unprecedented ways of organizing large ensembles. The group is currently directed by composer and instrument designer Jeff Snyder, and features new electronic instruments that arise from his research. Performers and composers who have worked with PLOrk include Zakir Hussain, Pauline Oliveros, Matmos, So Percussion, the American Composers Orchestra, and others. In the past 11 years, PLOrk has performed widely—presented by Carnegie Hall, the Northwestern Spring Festival in Chicago, the American Academy of Sciences in DC, the Kitchen (NYC), 92Y and others—and has inspired the formation of laptop orchestras across the world, from Oslo to Bangkok.
RAGE Thormbones is an ongoing collaboration between trombonist/composers Matt Barbier and Weston Olencki. They explore the outer reaches of instrumental performance and brass technique, often combining hand-built instruments, extreme preparations, and geometric approaches toward harmony with analog/digital synthesis to create immersive environments of dense sonic forces. Recent collaborators include Kevin Drumm, Michelle Lou, Liza Lim, Timothy McCormack, Laura Steenberge, Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Lester St. Louis, Katherine Young, and British pop maverick Scott Walker. They have fulfilled residencies in the composition departments at Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Princeton (in progress), and New York Universities, recorded for HatHut and Populist Records, and are best friends. Weston lives in New York City and Matt lives in Los Angeles.