Run by Philippe Chatelain since 2002 and currently based in Tokyo, the Laptop orchestra is a project of generative music based on network interactivity. For each concert, a guest musician/performer provides the audio material (source signal) for the orchestra to process through its network of six computers in real time. The laptopers begin the concert without any sound on their harddisk or generated frequencies. Each laptop creates a variation of the source signal in real time in a chain reaction mode.
The dynamic network triggers moving musical structures that layer on the direct sound, thus
instantaneously merging the real into the virtual dimension. Performers and laptopers develop a sound work based on tensions/ disharmony/ meaning/ loss of meaning, that such an interactive environment involves.
In 1(000) Breath(s), the source signal comes from the sho, a Japanese traditional free-reed mouth
organ, performed by Ko Ishikawa. As he plays the sho, a digital chain reaction extends the source
sound as if several sho instruments would be performing. Each clone generated by the laptopers has its proper frequency range, texture and velocity. From the chordal texture of the sho, a deep and vibrating composition based on microtransformations appears. “From one breath to one thousand breaths…”