Swansea Laptop Orchestra awarded residency with National Theatre Wales


University of Wales Trinity Saint David is delighted to note that Swansea Laptop Orchestra has been awarded a residency with National Theatre Wales. Swansea Laptop Orchestra seek to explore new means of performance and composition through the concept of being untethered. 

Untethered is the research and development of an electronic opera, through the use of wireless technologies that track the gestural movements of the performers.

The data provided from this tracking will allow Swansea Laptop Orchestra to create new digital instruments, develop their existing software and hardware technologies and expand their practices in performance art.

"A laptop orchestra by nature is inter-disciplinary. Our practices cross different music and performance boundaries. We are very excited to be working with National Theatre Wales and to have their support in developing our practices in performance art and moving us from a 2D to a 3D space,” said Dr Jenn Kirby, Director of the Swansea Laptop Orchestra and Lecturer in Music at University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

"Located Residencies are unique opportunities to spend research and development time looking at new ideas for performance, that are embedded in a location or community. This is an opportunity to conceive your own residency where you can push your artistic practice, whilst exploring the unique features that make up the nation." - National Theatre Wales

Swansea Laptop Orchestra use hacked game controllers, laptops and sensors to create and perform experimental, contemporary classical, electroacoustic and electronic music. Controllers are used to track the performers' gestures and theatrical movements, bringing a unique physicality to electronic music while also creating a symbiotic audio-visual experience. Swansea Laptop Orchestra aim to push the boundaries of performance in electronic music. They launched their debut album, loadbang! in September 2017. 


Dr Jenn Kirby is a composer, performer, lecturer and music technologist. She teaches music technology and composition at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art. Her output includes contemporary instrumental composition, electroacoustic music, sound art, noise music, laptop orchestra performance, musical theatre and solo live electronics. Dr Kirby is very active in the performance of electronic music as a performer and a software developer. She builds software and re-purposes games controllers as musical interfaces to create and perform theatrical and often humorous live electronic music.  


Simon Kilshaw is a composer, performer, sonic artist, songwriter, producer, software designer, inventor and instrument builder, systems programmer, Digital Creator through coding. Simon invents new musical instruments using a wide variety of digital technologies, from sensors and tracking hardware to pure coded environments, and composes new repertoire for them. Simon describes his research as "Digital Lutherie". Simon is the Programme Director for Music Technology at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. His work is inspired by the early 20th century pioneers of electronic noise machines, particularly the Italian Futurist movement.