You think you know about Laptop Orchestras

An Interview With Perry Cook by Nick Hwang on behalf of ElectroTap at the
Symposium for Laptop Orchestras and Ensembles, Baton Rouge, Louisiana – April 2012

In April 2012, on behalf of Electrotap (Jesse Allison and Tim Place) I got to sit down and chat with Perry Cook, professor emeritus at Princeton University.

We met while Louisiana State University was hosting the first Symposium for Laptop Ensembles and Orchestras (SLEO). I had to opportunity ask him about the origin of laptop orchestra, the origin of the use of hemispherical speakers, the expansion of other handheld musical devices, his […]

LSU Eye on a Tiger

LSU recently featured me on their Eye on a Tiger Series. I’m humbled and honored to be included with the other featured students.


SPACES: an interactive exhibit @Foster Gallery

Art & Technology Show

Three works of interactive sights and sounds by Tom Lapann, Nick Hwang, Meg Scuderi,  David Williams, James Kimura-Green, Tahjah Krauss, and Sarah Jones.

September 7-14, 2012
Foster Gallery, LSU
Reception: September 7, 7pm


Coelocyte is an environment of light, sound, and texture. A responsive organism made from natural and industrial materials, the interactive installation invites visitors to explore and reacts with lights, vibrations, and sound. Within its allotted lifespan, Coelocyte’s responses change over time.

Artists: Nick Hwang, Tom Lapann, Meg Scuderi,

Panoply is an audio-visual installation where the ‘minutiae’ and the composite of an environmental are considered.

Artists: Nick Hwang, TahJah Krauss

Panta rhei “everything flows”

A series of […]

What the Pluck

‘What the Pluck’ is the third piece in the What the What series. This piece features a solo cellist, laptop performers in four musical sections, and a conductor. All musicians read their parts on staff paper.

More media on this project soon to come.



Social Structure

[ Construction no. 1 ] (interactive installation) addresses concepts of resonance, feedback, deconstruction, and inundation in the contexts of sound, music, and social media. The installation is a collection of position-aware resonant acrylic cubes, that, depending on their placement, respond with varying audio and projected visual.


Social Structure [ Construction no. 1 ] at Foster Gallery in Baton Rouge.

[ Concept behind Social Structure ] – The original concept of Social Structure [Construction no. 1]

[ Development of Social Structure ] – Images and Video of the prototyping phase for Social Structure [Construction no. 1]

Bugs in the System

Bugs in the System | 2011

Bugs in the System is a (prototype) installation piece using Arduino, Sharp IR distance sensors, Max/MSP, HexBug bugs, LEGO’s, contact microphones, and a metal maze, where the location of battery powered Hexbugs bugs, in relation to a track, determines the sonic outcomes. The entire premise is based on ‘bugs’: the creatures, errors in electronic systems, and aural effects of them.

Distance sensors track the position of the bugs on the track and scrub (granularly) through ‘error sounds’ from both Windows and Mac operating systems.

The sounds of the bugs running along the metal track material is also amplified and further processed. The metal track has panels that purposely obstruct the bugs and help create the amplified crawling sounds.



June 10: I've been learning ComputerVision, using Max/MSP. This work uses Infrared Red lights, on each block, as markers to indicate areas for social media artifacts to be projected on. Here are a couple videos I've made, as I learn a little bit of color tracking in Max/MSP. The next step is defining the rectangular area between the colored dots. And then putting an image in that area.


Nick Hwang | WTFreq | Spring 2011

WTFreq is a piece for four wii-mote performers and four laptops. The piece is a followup to What the Bells, 2010. The piece uses demonstrative wii-mote moments to visually differentiate four types of sound synthesis. Automated instructions are displayed on each performers laptop display. The instructions include information on the ‘current gesture’ and the ‘upcoming gesture’. Each gesture instruction tells the performer which demonstrative ‘pose’ to use, a particular performance ‘gesture’ (like ‘create a melody’) which corresponds with the pose, and a duration for which to perform that musical performance ‘gesture’. For each instruction, a timer counts down, helping the performer know how long to perform the gesture as well as anticipate the up-coming gesture. Each ‘pose’ is a different way to hold the wii-mote and a different physical movement to ‘play’. Depending on the position of the performer (1-4), different instructions are given.

From an outdoor concert by the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana.
[Direct link to video: ]

Tags: WTFreq, What the Bells, wii-motes, laptop piece, Nick Hwang, performance, gestures



GUA is a live manipulation and sampling digital instrument for laptop and iPad.

Document on the development of GUA – [ PDF ]

GUA uses live manipulation modules of pitch shift, delay, chorus flanging, filtering, and reverb. A 6-sampler array allows for varied or multiple inputs, variable playback rate, and adjustable scrubbing area.

Since GUA is meant for live performance, the replayed sampled material can also be affected by the Live Manipulation Modules as well.

Since it’s creation in 2009, GUA has been used in performance over 20 times, at notable occasions such as SEAMUS2011 in Miami, International Society of Improvised […]

What the Bells

‘What the Bells’ is a musical piece that involves Wiimote, Laptop, and (recently added) iPhone/iPad.

‘What the Bells’ involves a 4 Bell players, each with Wii-Motes and laptop running a client Max patch. A central laptop sends performer instructions via OSC. Global parameters such as timbre changes and delay, controlled by iPhone or iPad, are sent to the performers’ laptops.

This video is from the April 14, 2010 performance.

Diagram of What the Bells

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