“BATTLE OF LAPTOPS” PART OF                                                                                                                

CULLOWHEE – Organizers of the i7 Futures Forum set for Wednesday, April 13, at Western Carolina University are inviting student musicians and computer wizards to “put their best mouse finger forward” for the first-ever “Battle of the Laptops.”

Patterned after popular “battle of the bands” competitions pitting rock ‘n' roll bands against one another, the “Battle of the Laptops” will include student artists and musical entrepreneurial upstarts from a wide variety of backgrounds, ranging from classical to techno and experimental to hip-hop.

The competition carries a $500 grand prize and will broadcast live on WWCU-FM 90.5. It is part of the “student ingenuity” sessions at the i7 Futures Forum, to be held in the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center. The day of intensive discussion and brainstorming about the future of Western North Carolina will bring together hundreds of “thought leaders” who will examine seven guiding themes of imagination, ideas, insight, ingenuity, innovation, invention and inspiration.

Paul Evans, director of Western's Center for Regional Development, which is hosting the forum, says the day is designed to assemble a mix of creative thinkers from science, government, technology, education, arts and the humanities to collectively imagine what the region will look and feel like 20 years from now.

The “Battle of the Laptops” will showcase the ingenuity of student contestants and “regional computer geeks” in the fields of electronic music, video, multi-media and other emerging media, Evans said.

“It will be exciting to see what happens, and it will show an interesting cross-section of what people are doing in laptop music, but it will be very hard to judge,” said Bruce Frazier, Western's Belk Distinguished Professor of Commercial and Electronic Music. “The judging will have to be a delicate balance between subjective and objective viewpoints and audience reaction.”

To assist the audience, two video projectors will show the competitors' onscreen action, frenzied mouse work and body rocking. Music can be accompanied by visual media.

Entries will be restricted to personal computer- or laptop-created material; studio equipment is prohibited. The following software programs are suggested: Garage Band, Pro Tools, Reason, Acid, Fruity Loops, Digital Performer and Ableton Live. Other programs are allowed, but must be played through a laptop and have necessary connection capabilities. Composition must be no more than 5 minutes in length.

In addition to Frazier, judges will include local musical producer Stephen Cohen; Don Connelly, director of electronic media at Western; and Trudy Evans, event producer from Charleston , S.C.

To enter, send entries with contact information to: futuresforum@email.wcu.edu. For more information about the competition, contact student organizer Joel Kuehn via e-mail at jk29264@wcu.edu .

For more information about the i7 Futures Forum at Western Carolina University or to register, contact the Center for Regional Development at (828) 227-7492 or go to www.wcu.edu/crd .

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Last modified: Thursday, April 7, 2005
Copyright 2005 by Western Carolina University