I mean, come on, these are laptops

Raymond Chen

Last year, Weekend America (co-hosted by former Seattleite Bill Radke—we miss you, Bill!) did a story on the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, which calls itself PLOrk. It’s an interesting experiment, but computer music doesn’t really move me. It’s not the computer-ness that bugs me (I was fascinated by music played on Gameboys, after all) but rather the lack of traditional musicality.

That said, the chord that opens the piece on online gambling creeps me out. Not because of the piece itself, but because it is dangerously reminiscent of the chord played at the Tulalip Casino, a steady synthesized triad played at low volume so you can barely hear it. And after a while, you simply stop hearing it, and then you have to whack yourself on the head and make yourself hear it again because allowing it to sink into your subconscious means that they’ve won.


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