Modern technology enables face-to-face teaching and learning over high-speed networks, with minimum delay and excellent sound and video quality. A growing number of performing institutions offer regular masterclasses via such videoconferencing technologies, but it is only recently that musical ensembles are able to rehearse and perform while thousands of kilometres apart as result of these developments. These methods of distance learning are unique in that musicians’ interactions happen in real time, synchronously, without the delays common to standard connection systems. Research examining the efficacy and outcomes of these approaches, however, remains scarce.
In Sync focusses on the use of a Low Latency Audio and Video Streaming System (LOLA) for rehearsing, teaching, and performing. Qualitative and quantitative methods are employed to examine how musicians, who may have never met face-to-face, make musical decisions, interact, and communicate via LOLA. How do musicians work on social interaction needed to form cohesive ensembles? How do they cope without direct eye contact or the immediate presence of their collaborator in the new digital environment? Do new rehearsing, teaching, and performing strategies arise as result of working in these new spaces? How do these experiences compare to face-to-face music making? What is the impact of the added technical equipment and necessary support present during the musicians’ interaction? In order to explore these issues, remote coaching and ensemble sessions are being studied while rehearsing and performing new compositions across Europe.
The research findings are informing best practices for how musicians can engage in this type of artistic exploration. They are also casting light on the extent to which videoconferencing technologies are shaping how musicians teach, rehearse, and perform.
Lisboa T & Jónasson P (2017), Rehearsing and performing in cyber space: a focus on communication and interaction, in Network Performing Arts Production Workshop 2017, Royal Danish Academy of Music.
Lisboa T & Jónasson P (2016), Synchronous distance learning: a focus on rehearsal strategies in ensemble playing over LOLA, in Music and/as Process 2016, Bath Spa University.