Meeting Topic: The Challenges of Performing Arts Over Advanced Networks
Moderator Name: Earl McCluskie
Speaker Name: FROM EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC: Helen Smith, Director of Technology & Media Productions https://www.linkedin.com/in/helen-smith-61a5b44/; Dave Rivello, Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media https://www.esm.rochester.edu/faculty/rivello_dave/; Michael Burritt, Percussion https://www.esm.rochester.edu/faculty/burritt_michael/; Rich Wattie, multimedia engineer/AES member. http://richwattie.com/about/; FROM HUMBER COLLEGE CREATIVE AND PERFORMING ARTS: Steve Bellamy, Dean of School of Creative and Performing Arts https://creativearts.humber.ca/support/admin-office/steve-bellamy; Shirantha Beddage, Head of Theory, Music https://creativearts.humber.ca/faculty/shirantha-beddage; Peter Cook, Head of Production, Music https://creativearts.humber.ca/faculty/peter-cook
Other business or activities at the meeting: Chair Alan Clayton was in Rochester, Vice-Chair Anthony Kuzub introduced everyone to the meeting. No other business was discussed.
Meeting Location: Humber College, South Campus, Toronto Canada; and Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York US
This meeting focused on interactive performances between artists at differing locations via Internet 2 and LoLa technology for audio, thereby overcoming physical distances and borders. This meeting was held in two locations, connected virtually, possibly being the first time two sections met in this manner.
Earl McCluskie was the host and began by discussing the impetus behind the meeting and the technology involved which led into a talk about LoLA. Skype was the video technology being used. He noted latency was so low musicians could perform with no noticeable rhythmic lags. He introduced the host for the evening, Peter Cook.
Peter thanked the musicians for participating. Via his laptop, he displayed how the connections are enabled. He then introduced the participants in Humber and Eastman who then proceeded to provide a demonstration. While the performances were excellent and rhythmically accurate, there was some glitching heard in the audio fed back to the Toronto section.
When Peter talked to the students, they said they noticed no latency; it was as if the performers (in different cities) were just in the next room.
To demonstrate the lack of latency, performers (at both venues) started a song at a slow tempo and gradually sped it up as they went along, with everyone still keeping together and playing in time.
It was noted this technology was useful for rehearsals, master classes, and auditions.
All the previous performances allowed to performers to view each other over video as well as listen over audio. The last performance, however, was made without video, with the musicians relying solely on aural cues.
Denny Christensan and Peter Cook gave a brief overview of the Humber Music Program and their roles in it. Humber has a state of the art recording facility. The technology is used, not to get the students learn to be engineers, but to learn to function in a studio setting and be aware of the terminology and methodology.
After the break, Rich Wattie (who was at Eastman in Rochester) explained the LoLa technology. Dave Revillo then discussed his role in the Eastman program. Finally, Shirantha Beddage similarly described his role at Humber.
All talks were followed by a brief question and answer session.
Earl closed the meeting by playing back a video of classical performers utilizing LoLa technology. It was noted earlier in the evening that, while the performers were audibly in time, they were performing Jazz, and the suggestion was made that the genre of music allowed rhythmic liberties to obscure possible latencies. The music in the classical video Earl presented was very rhythmically demanding and contained many staccato passages which required strict timing coordination between the two players (who were thousands of miles apart). The performance was very precise and accurate demonstrating the efficacy of the LoLa.
Vice Chair Anthony Kuzub presented everyone (in Toronto) with certificates of appreciation while Alan Clayton did likewise with presenters in Rochester.