Within this composition commentary, I seek to outline my practice for composing for laptop ensembles, as well as the notational approaches I have developed to facilitate composition, direction, rehearsal and ultimately performance within an intentionally non-homogeneous laptop ensemble.
Illustrating the requirement to move beyond the current typical `application as score and meta-instrument' paradigm, I outline my own notational approach for laptop ensemble writing and the features it offers to the operation of laptop ensembles. As a consequence of the notational approach I seek to outline the performative coding role of the player and acknowledge the compositional role it extends to the performer.
These theoretical considerations are considered within the practical operation of the Huddersfield Experimental Laptop Orchestra (HELO) and its sibling HELOpg. As a consequence of these experiments I present my preference for graph and text based notations for directing the laptop performer.