Alternative Interfaces for Laptop Performance

Participants: Mark Zadel

Period: 2005 - 2012


Different Strokes is a software system for performing music on a computer. It aims to allow a performer to create much of his or her performance sequences on-stage instead of relying on prepared control material. The program resembles a freehand drawing application. The drawn strokes create animated figures whose motion is mapped to sample playback. The musician performs by assembling networks of strokes live, generating audio patterns.


  • Zadel, M. and Scavone, G. “Recent Developments in the Different Strokes Environment.” In Proceedings of 2008 International Computer Music Conference, Belfast, N. Ireland, 2008. pp. 1-4.
  • Zadel, M. and Scavone, G. “Laptop Performance: Techniques, Tools, and a New Interface Design,” In Proceedings of 2006 International Computer Music Conference, New Orleans, USA, November, 2006.
  • Zadel, M. and Scavone, G. “Different Strokes: a Prototype Software System for Laptop Performance and Improvisation,” In Proceedings of 2006 Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME-06), Paris, France, May, 2006.