Yes, you read that right: The Stanford Laptop Orchestra nixes traditional instruments in favor of MacBooks and modified IKEA salad bowl speakers. Founded in the spring of 2008 at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, 20 laptops manipulate sound in an unusual way.
As PSFK notes, “Each key of the computer represents a different note, and tilting the laptop changes the sound. Manipulating the trackpad also alters the music, acting like a violin bow.” So at the right venue, passersby can stroll around the members of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra and experience a different blend of sounds every few steps.
As you can see from the gallery, the Stanford Laptop Ensemble creates their own six-channel speakers, carved out of IKEA salad bowls. All told, the speakers provide 120 channels of sound.