New Music in the Old City Hall: Music and Computers

On March 2, 2017, the Nadbałtyckie Centrum Kultury in Gdańsk presented the first of this year’s concerts in the series called “Nowa Muzyka w Starym Ratuszu” [New Music in the Old City Hall]. The title of the concert was “Music and Computers” and explored how computers entered the world of music as musical instruments. The concert was performed by the Laptop Ensemble – a group specializing in performing computer music—with guest violinist Przemysław Czekaj. The audience had a chance to listen to works composed by ensemble members: Stanisław KrupowiczMarcin Bortnowski and Marcin Rupociński. The organizers of the event were the Polish Society for Electroacoustic Music (PSeME), and the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk.

From the event website:

Electroacoustic music has always taken advantage of the latest technology. At the very beginning of the genre, the phase which we presented at the concert exactly one year ago, music was played using tape recorders and analogue equipment. The next concert in the series titled “New Music in the Old Town Hall” will present the emergence of computers in the world of music, which were used not only for playing pieces in recording studios, but also as musical instruments that could be played live. This is what Laptop Ensemble, an outstanding band specialising in playing computer music’, is going to prove. […]

Laptop Ensemble was set up in 2009 and made its debut the same year at the “Warsaw Autumn” festival. The main objective of the composers and members of the group was to use computers not only as interactive instruments, but also machines that can simulate intelligent human behaviour. This means that the computers in the group have to exchange information concerning the score and the necessary guidelines for its performance. The music pieces composed especially for the group sets these tasks for the computers (and performers) to fulfil[l].