November 5th, 2011: Levy Lorenzo & Travis Laplante


Born in Bucharest, Filipino-American Levy Marcel Ingles Lorenzo, Jr. is an electronics engineer and percussionist living in New York.  As a percussionist, he focuses on performing contemporary music as a solo and chamber musician. His musical output range spans free improvisation, pieces for solo marimba, Afro-Caribbean drumming and singing, and drum set for rock, jazz, and electro-pop ensembles. As an electronics engineer specializing in microcontroller programming, he is researching the design of new electronic musical instruments with focus on their live performance in a concert setting. His electronics design work has been featured on the G4TV network,,, the 2007 Geneva Auto Show, 2011 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition, Handmade Music Session @ STEIM 2011 Patterns & Pleasure Festival and BBC Ecuador. An advocate for interdisciplinary arts, he has collaborated with dancers, video artists, sculptors, and dramaturgs. He performs live electronics with the International Contemporary Ensemble in New York City, and was a featured marimba soloist with the International Ensemble Modern Academy in the 2009 Klangspuren Schwaz Festival (AT).
Levy has tutored calculus and physics, and worked as an firmware engineer for Bose. He holds Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Cornell University where he was awarded the Ellen Gussman Adelson Prize for music in both 2002 and 2003. He also earned a Master of Music (M.M.) degree from SUNY Stony Brook, where he is completing his studies as a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) candidate, specializing in percussion and electronics performance.


Here are some details on Levy’s presentation:

I’ll be talking about my work with building new electronic musical instruments.  This work directly addresses the issue of the live performance of live electronic music. The projects that I will be playing and discussing are the following:

. AIR MARIMBA (2010) .
Reminiscent of a traditional marimba, the Air Marimba is a new electronic musical instrument that uses IR sensors and micro-controllers to allow the musician play marimba sounds by touching the air above the marimba bars

. Hamster MIDI (2004) .
A MIDI sequencer with embedded intelligent algorithms for real-time rhythm and pitch calculations that creates melodies based on the movement of 6 hamsters.

. Teacups and Light (2009) .
A new electronic musical instrument that uses light sensors and teacups to control sound synthesized by MAX/MASP


Heart Protector from Travis Laplante on Vimeo.

Travis will present and discuss works from his debut solo album Heart Protector:

Heart Protector is Travis Laplante’s debut album, featuring original music for solo tenor saxophone by the twenty-eight- year-old composer and musician. Laplante, a powerful new voice in New York City’s experimental music set, has toured extensively with his band Little Women, whose acclaimed full-length debut was recently released on AUM Fidelity Records; with his trio, which features bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Gerald Cleaver; and with under- ground experimental rock bands Extra Life and Skeletons. Laplante has also worked with Anthony Braxton, Mark Dresser, Mat Maneri, Trevor Dunn, and many other luminaries of improvised music. Heart Protector was recorded by Laplante himself and Ryan Power at the Big Barn in Putney, Vermont. The album, coming out on Skirl Records, will be the label’s first vinyl release. The music itself was largely inspired by the heart protector, Laplante’s term for the pericardial sac that surrounds the heart.