Ge Wang makes computer music, but it isn’t all about coded bleeps and blips. With the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, he creates new instruments out of unexpected materials—like an Ikea bowl—that allow musicians to play music that’s both beautiful and expressive.
Ge Wang explores the intersection of technology and music, researching how programming languages and interactive software systems can push computer music from coded beeps and tones to something that musicians can actively play in the moment. An assistant professor at Stanford University, Wang is the founding director of both the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) and the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra (MoPho).
Wang is also the man behind ChucK, a programming language built specifically for sound. He also co-founded Smule, a startup dedicated to musical apps that let people around the world make beautiful music … and connect with each other in the process. Their app Ocarina turns your iPhone into an ancient flute, for example, and Guitar! lets you strum your phone while a karaokist somewhere in the world provides lyrical support.