Network Music Performance Workshop GAFFTA 2010

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This workshop is intended as a practical introduction to network music performance. Both technical and musical topics will be discussed, including: history of the field, Internet technologies for low-latency audio streaming, transcontinental high-quality network performance, performance issues like delay and presence, installations and synthesis in the network, future and potential as a compositional medium, programming techniques and software survey. We will discuss how to fine-tune the network and software specifically for musical purposes. The correlation of physical and acoustical distance in this medium and what it implies for musical performance/composition will be analyzed. We expect participants to leave with an embodied sense of network performance and ready to apply it in their art. This workshop was designed for Mac and Linux users (unfortunately some applications are not available on Windows).

This workshop is intended for musicians, composers, programmers and technologists interested in performing with distant musicians, designing systems for the medium or composing with the network in mind. No music theory or technical skills background necessary, the workshop will put emphasis on the participants’ particular interests and goals.


6-7:00 Introduction
Why standard teleconferencing doesn’t cut it for music.
QoS = QoResults.
Assumed knowledge.
Additional terminology.
Connection: performance.
7-8:30: Quick start lab
Example streaming apps / hardware (jackTrip, jack).
Takes two to tango, or just play together… (bi-directional streaming).
Software installation (cross-platform).
8:30-9:00: Troubleshooting

Thursday 6-7:00: Technical issues and discussion - Wired vs. wireless. - Bridging firewalls. - Institutional firewall policies. Auxiliary applications. - Video (Skype, iChat, DVTS, AccessGrid). - Recording, real-time plugins (efx) via jack. 7-8:30: Musical issues: discussion, demos (live remote connections) - Every millisecond counts. - Sound before video. - Options for conducting. - Self-delay pros and cons (demo). - Effect of delay on ensemble tempo and choice of music. - Only as good as the mics and loudspeakers. - Audio for monitoring vs. audio for recording. - The sound of conjoined stages. - Ambisonic ambient space display (demo) - Experiences with different styles (classical, jazz, electronic). - Common use cases (jamming, ensemble rehearsal, concerts). - Examples of composing for this new “stage.” - Other applications (new media installations, distance music teaching). 8:30-9:00: Conclusion - Alternative streaming apps / hardware. - Current research topics and speculations on future functionality. Improvjam with CCRMA