EACEA Culture Project on Network Performance in Music



Preliminary Evidence of the Durable Effect of COMEDIA

Clearly one of the main goals of any European Culture project is that the activities undertaken during the project have a durable impact on the normal activities of each partner’s institution beyond the duration of the project itself. Thus far, all partners can show that this tendency clearly exists in each of their institutions.


CIANT has collaborated with all co-organizers and expanded the network scenarios also towards other associated partners. The lab facility allows for still more advanced and integrated networked experiments. Without the COMEDIA shared knowledge, skills and tools it would have been impossible to advance the research in networked performances. This has been a decisive impetus for continuous experimental practice involving scheduled networked workshops and residencies.


As a result of the COMEDIA project, networking plays a more significant part in daily activities. When organizing concerts, HCMF can now confidently connect musicians in remote sites (using AUNetSend and AUNetReceive plugins). Networking is now common practice in education, research and conferences (using Skype and JackTrip) ; connecting musicians, organizing creative workshops ; extending public relations activities ; rehearsals over the Internet (European Bridges Ensemble which can now choose to perform locally or remotely).


While HFMT has had regular streaming activities since 2003, the impact of COMEDIA can definitely be felt. Since the start of the project, the HFMT webcast team has become more professional, using state-of-the-art equipment and industrial-strength software. Several network concerts have been organized also involving colleagues from other departments. Students and junior colleagues now regularly use network protocols in their projects and have used their experiences with (a network based composition environment) creatively in their own artistic and technological developments. Future plans involve the use of a portable wave-field synthesis system that will open the way to remote acoustics networking.


Day to day usage of networking has increased since the start of the  COMEDIA project. This is not only due the growing expertise in the Institute, but also because of facilities that have been assembled for COMEDIA actions. This has had an impact on various types of activities. Education : since IEM has teachers from places like Paris and Berlin, lectures and seminars have been given by remote on demand (using AccessGrid), such as in the series of seminars in gender studies from Univ.Prof. Dr. Elena Ungeheuer. Conferences : Examples such as “Bodily Expression in Electronic Art Music”‚ and the “Ambisonics Symposium”, were held remotely and streamed for external listeners. Meetings: for regular follow up meetings with partners in research projects. Concerts: from the IEM Cube, but also events such as the International Competition “Franz Schubert and Modern Music” streamed to a wider public and also into rooms at IEM for study purposes. Research collaborations: for permanent communication of working groups using, repositories and parallel audio and video connections. As a result, most working spaces at IEM are equipped with cameras and microphones for streaming purposes.


COMEDIA has had a major impact on the use of networking technologies for pedagogical activities (doctoral thesis defense, instrumental master classes, composer lessons …), musical research (composer seminar recording and streaming …), scientific exchange (“Research and Technology Seminars” recording and streaming, videoconferencing work sessions …), artistic and musical events (such as “Hommage à Elliot Carter” …), managerial meetings (Renater, Kimmel Festival 2011 …). The technical knowledge and experience acquired thus far have pushed towards the inclusion of this field of competence in IRCAM’s main computer system administration team. The artistic projects developed thus far and projected for 2010 in  have made composers at IRCAM as a whole aware of the new artistic possibilities of the networking medium.


Since the start of COMEDIA, network performance has become a core activity. In addition to activities specific to the project, SARC has been active in the use of networks as both collaborative and performance tools. A group of artists and researchers has emerged around this field and this has helped create a broader knowledge base and focus for activity. As a result, there are now a number of staff and students at SARC with knowledge and experience of Network Performance. Regular performances, workshops and collaboration with institutions such as Stanford University, Banff and RPI have helped strengthen this emerging community of researchers and practitioners. Through this we have been able to embed the notion of network culture into regular SARC activities.


The COMEDIA project was an important factor in having the University and local administration accept to partially fund the works to install the optic fiber at Casa Paganini (involving necessary street and cable construction work ) was an important convincing factor to push this work to be accepted and finished in time for making sure the realization of the IGDIST/HFMT/IRCAM collaboration on the “An Invisible Line” installation project. This infrastructure has opened the way to the creation of partnerships with Waseda University in Japan) (remote motion capture), Faculté Polytechnique de Mons in Belgium (testing network performance technology) and Stanford University in the United States (research involving empathy and entrainment in network music performance).

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