News / Regina

Video: University of Regina iPad Orchestra debuts

The only instrument you need in this orchestra is an iPad.

“Every iPad has the potential to be a piano, a violin, an experimental electronic device, a synthesizer - all of these different instruments and apps at the same time. So every iPad itself is an orchestra,” said Rebecca Caines, assistant professor in Creative Technologies at the University of Regina.

Caines’ class of 12 students will be showcasing their University of Regina iPad Orchestra in a free concert on Sunday at the Shubox Theatre on campus.

For the class, students chose either to research and perform with the iPad or develop a new app. Only one student took on the developer challenge whose app modulates a violin through a censored glove the violinist wears. The other 11 iPad musicians will perform on Sunday. The experimental class was developed by professors in the music and computer science departments for what Caines refers to as “an interception between technological innovation and artistic practice.”

The students perform using different apps to play popular hits and musical scores such as going from nature to an urban setting. One student is even using a stethoscope microphone to play a track using his own heartbeat.

“I think that what people expect when they hear iPad orchestra is that we will just be replacing traditional instruments with an iPad but that is only one tiny part of what the iPad can do,” Caines said during rehersals Friday afternoon.

“Rather than just replicating what could have been done on other instruments, it actually has all of these potentials to become a new form of music making.”

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