Sound and Music Computing

The LENS Performance

Dr Charles Martin

LENS Performance

This lecture is about practical matters for the final LENS performance.

  • Final assessment for this course (40%)
  • an in-person ensemble performance that you will participate in with your group
  • individual assessment, one performance per ensemble member.

What you are making

You will create a computer music system that can be performed live by a group of students at a live concert. This could take the form of a new computer music instrument or composition that a group of performers can control.

This means:

a computer music system created by you performing original music with your group.

Do not play covers or music created by other people. That is not acceptable in this assessment or this course.

Your Ensemble Performance

Your ensemble performance:

  • must involve all members of your LENS ensemble
  • must be created with one of the computer music languages studied this semester
  • must be 5-7 minutes in length
  • must be presented at a LENS performance in the exam period

Dates, Times, Location

  • Location: Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music, Childers St
  • Dates: June 2, 5, 6. (Friday, Monday, Tuesday).
Time 2/6 5/6 6/6
900 setup setup setup
1000 setup C5 C11
1100 setup C6 C12
1200 C1 C7 C13
1300 C2 break break
1400 break C8 C14
1500 C3 C9 C15
1600 C4 C10 C16


  • Each group gets one timeslot to perform each of your pieces (4-5) in one 45 minute concert.
  • You must be prepared to play each piece in sequence with little changeover time (<3mins changeover).
  • Technical setup will be very strictly controlled.

We will have some arrangement to test your setup on a duplicate system in the hour before the concert.

We will have bookable rehearsal times from Tuesday–Thursday before the first concert for rehearsals.


  • Discuss with your group on Teams what your time constraints are (i.e. other exams)
  • In week 10 workshop, submit times that your group is available.
  • We will organise a roster based on that information on Thursday 11/5.

You will need to be flexible and organised. We cannot guarantee you won’t have a concert on the same day as another exam.

Technical Setup

We will provide for each laptop:

  • HDMI input (for your video and sound)
  • power outlet for your laptop

We will also provide a WiFi router with internet.

You need to provide whatever adapters or cables that are necessary to connect HDMI to your computer, you should also bring your power adapter.

By default, we expect every member of the ensemble to connect their laptop to all of: HDMI and a power point and leave it plugged in for the duration of your setup and performance. You may not move your laptop during the concert.

External Equipment

You are allowed to use equipment external to your laptop for the purpose of controlling your computer music software in the final performance. This includes MIDI controllers, human-interface devices, microbits, etc. There are a few caveats:

  • You may not use any equipment that requires AC power (that is, USB-powered or battery powered equipment only).
  • You may not use any equipment that requires more than one person to carry.
  • You may not use any equipment that creates sound which is used in your performance (i.e., external synthesisers, DJ decks, samplers are not allowed).

Keep in mind that you are creatinng an ensemble performance and any equipment used should contribute to how your ensemble works together to create music.

External Software

  • You are allowed to use libraries or extensions for the comupter music systems used in the course, but these should be clearly documented and listed as a reference in your performance materials.

  • You are allowed to use middleware that goes in between computer music software and an external or internal hardware interface (e.g., Osculator, Wekinator or MobMuPlat).

  • You are not allowed to use music production software such as Ableton Live, ProTools or Logic in your performance.

  • Any external libraries that you use should be used in a sophisticated, original, and independent way in order to show your attainment of the learning outcomes.


Use of external non-referenced software in your performance is a breach of academic integrity at ANU.

You must reference:

  • any software not created by you
  • any hardware systems required for your performance
  • any software developed in collaboration with another student

We expect collaboration in this course—the tradeoff is we expect precise and complete referencing.

Don’t claim other’s work is your own—even by accident!!

Interactive Ensemble Music Making

The big challenge in a LENS performance:

  • writing some synths that sound cool
  • figuring out who does what
  • figuring out how to structure a performance (= organised sound, composition)

Give each performer less to do than you think you need to. Expect performers to think and communicate. Give performers creative control. Good performance is risky!

Getting started

  • week 10: create a minimal idea for your diary, explain the topology to your group.
  • week 11: work on expression and interfaces with your group.
  • week 12: work on composition and improvisation with your group.
  • week 13: final rehearsals, make sure it all works.


Procedure on the day: Pre-Concert

(times relative to your concert time)

  • -60m Arrive at School of Music, meet your tutor at the front, move to “green room” to test setups and get ready
  • -30m Pack up in green room and get ready to move to Llewellyn Hall
  • -20m arrive at Llewellyn Hall and get ready to walk carefully on stage when previous group finishes
  • -15m when other group is finished, come onto stage and plug in laptops (HDMI + power supplies)
  • -10m - Confirm sound and video coming out of each laptop

Procedure on the day: Your Concert!

  • 00m! (Concert time), stop testing, get ready for first piece
  • 5m - Start of your concert
    • Each piece is played in order given on poster
    • 3min pause for changeover between each piece
    • Confirm ready to start each piece with the stage manager Brent before starting (he will be right in front)
  • ~45m - finish concert, unplug, move off stage (ready for next group)

N.B.: Concert order is on the posters (see following slides), this is not negotiable.

Groups with 5 will get a little more time in their concert, we have capacity to flex the start times a bit as needed.


ANU Laptop Ensemble 1: CyberSymphony

Time: 2/6/2023 12:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Mingda Song, Haozhuo Zhang, Denghu Ji, Xiangda Li

ANU Laptop Ensemble 2: Beat Bots

Time: 2/6/2023 13:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Si Chen, Ziyi Guo, Alex Huang, Long Vu, Xinyue Hu

ANU Laptop Ensemble 3: Binary Beats Brigade

Time: 2/6/2023 15:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Samuel Dietz, Madi Creecy, Brinda Murlikrishna, Kai Dreyfus-Ballesi

ANU Laptop Ensemble 4: Techno Troupe

Time: 2/6/2023 16:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Jialiang Wu, Yun Guan, Simon Gao, Yuan Cheng

ANU Laptop Ensemble 5: Digital Domain

Time: 5/6/2023 10:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Jiawei Li, Heming Zhu, Chenyue Yu, Zhuojun Xiao

ANU Laptop Ensemble 6: Glitch Garden

Time: 5/6/2023 11:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Lavender Neesham, Xuan Liu, Xuan He, Thomas Powles, Afnan Malik

ANU Laptop Ensemble 7: Circuitry Symphony

Time: 5/6/2023 12:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Liyao Zhang, Chaoran Li, Yichi Zhang, Lihong Zhang

ANU Laptop Ensemble 8: Sonic Algorithms

Time: 5/6/2023 14:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Weiyuan Liu, Evangeline Sturges, Chloe Hall, Corey de Wit

ANU Laptop Ensemble 9: Audio Architects

Time: 5/6/2023 15:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Rithwik Sathyan, Xin Lu, Yuxiang Man, Umar Dabhoiwala

ANU Laptop Ensemble 10: Electro Ensemble

Time: 5/6/2023 16:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Binxu Wang, Dongyuan Yang, Yiqi Li, Xiaodan Du, Haorong Yao

ANU Laptop Ensemble 11: ElectroPhonic

Time: 6/6/2023 11:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Wangshu Cai, Noah Rose, Kevin Zhu, Wenshilan Ren, Wang Zilong

ANU Laptop Ensemble 12: Machine Musician

Time: 6/6/2023 12:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Yuxuan Gao, Ratchanont Treevijitpaisan, Ethan Teber-Rossi, Ziyuan Zhao, Jianing Zhang

ANU Laptop Ensemble 13: Pixelated Players

Time: 6/6/2023 14:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Hongkai Zou, Daniel Yeo, Jinghan Gao, Joshua Gittleman

ANU Laptop Ensemble 14: Midi Masters

Time: 6/6/2023 15:00

Location: Llewellyn Hall

Performers: Miles Pennifold, Weiyi Xia, Tunan Guo, Samuel Le