Using specially designed and custom made hemispherical speakers and a fleet of laptops, Sideband turns each member of its ensemble in to an island of sound, returning a sense of acoustics and space to the normally flat world of electronic music. Ranging from solos and duos to sextets and beyond, Sideband is an evolving project that inspires composers, performers and audience members to reevaluate the role of computers in music.
Sideband’s parent ensemble, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk), was formed in 2005 by Dan Trueman (composer, Norwegian fiddler, and computer music hacker) and Perry Cook (computer scientist, electrical engineer, and music hacker) to be a test-lab for a new way of thinking about electronic and ensemble music. PLOrk has performed widely (in Princeton, New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C.), has won a MacArthur Foundation grant, and has worked in collaboration with Zakir Hussain, the American Composers Orchestra, Matmos & So Percussion, and others.
Sideband was conceived out of a desire to explore the PLOrk model of music making in a more sustained fashion, outside the annually changing context of academic classes. Formed in 2008 to premiere a piece with the American Composers Orchestra at Carngie Hall, Sideband is currently made up of a group of long-term members whose skills range from orchestral percussion to installation art, research in machine-learning algorithms, traditional Norwegian folk music, solo performance, electroacoustic music, software design, and scored composition.