Curating Perspectives: Incorporating Virtual Reality into Laptop Orchestra Performance
Despite a history spanning nearly 30 years, best practices for the use of virtual reality (VR) in computer music performance remain exploratory. Here, we present a case study of a laptop orchestra performance entitled Resilience, involving one VR performer and an ensemble of instrumental performers, in order to explore values and design principles for incorporating this emerging technology into computer music performance. We present a brief history at the intersection of VR and the laptop orchestra. We then present the design of the piece and distill it into a set of design principles. Broadly, these design principles address the interplay between the different conflicting perspectives at play: those of the VR performer, the ensemble, and the audience. For example, one principle suggests that the perceptual link between the physical and virtual world maybe enhanced for the audience by improving the performers' sense of embodiment. We argue that these design principles are a form of generalized knowledge about how we might design laptop orchestra pieces involving virtual reality.