MusicPath VC Project over I2

Another session: Now I’m watching an amazing demo of a pianist in Calgary Alberta playing the beautiful grand piano in front of me. No one is at the piano in front of me – he is playig it remotely via videoconference and special software created by Acadia University, Nova Scotia! Karen Wilder from Acadia facilitated the demonstration, and MAGPI, Sunesys, and Yamaha sponsored the high speed connection.

Quoting from MusicPath‘s website:

MusicPath interconnects digital acoustic pianos, in this case a sophisticated Yamaha Disklavier, through advanced high-speed networks allowing one pianist to play several pianos in real-time, assisted by videoconferencing. This creates a new learning dimension for teachers, institutions and musicians.

Now a pianist here is playing the piano in front of us and also playing the piano in Alberta and Nova Scotia all at the same time!

Did you know there is a built in speed of light delay?! And a 400milisecond delay due to the network and the music software…. as well as a half second delay due to the actual piano mechanisms. But improvisation doesn’t mind a bit of delay like that! An exiquisite virtual duet!! It’s like two people playing the same piano – except one is here and one is there! It’s so weird to see the keys going up and down on the left beside our pianist on this end of the VC.

The piano only takes 56K while the videoconnection is using 768K and of course is actually smoother over I2.

This started with a 12 year old who had finished Grade 10 Royal Conservatory and took lessons via distance using this technology.

Now an audience encore! Of course, it would be Mark George from the Cleveland Institute of Music to volunteer!

This is even more intriguing to me because a few weeks ago I received an email regarding a research article on MusicGrid, another distance/videoconferencing music project from Canada. Check out the article for more details!

Another cool thing about this event is the presenter connected from Calgary is also at a convention, so in addition to this incredible demonstration, the videoconference technology allows us to connect both conferences together!

This event alone was worth the whole trip! These Canadians are amazingly creative with their distances, sparse population, and commitment to quality education!

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