Telematics

Telematic music is live performance via the internet by musicians in different geographic locations. Over the past decade, this field has been expanding thanks to new software tools allowing for low-latency, high-quality, multi-channel audio networking. While still relatively rare in professional concert venues, numerous musicians across the world have been exploring the artistic potentials of these technologies, particularly at research universities with high-bandwidth networks like Internet2.

Michael Dessen has been a key part of this growing network of artists, collaborating since 2007 on over 30 telematic concerts as a trombonist/improviser, composer and co-director. A faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, Dessen has composed numerous works specifially designed to explore the possibilities of the telematic stage, and has co-directed major telematic projects linking musicians across the world in live performances, frequently as co-director with his close collaborator Mark Dresser at UC San Diego. Dessen has also taught several co-located graduate seminars with Dresser on telematics to catalyze new works by emerging composers, and has led outreach courses for high-school age musicians such as Telematic Bridges / Puentes Telemáticos, a course linking youth in North and South America in a co-located music classroom.

Telematic concert photo
Telematic concert between CA and NY, part of Changing Tides: A Telematic Translocational Concert Series, co-directed by Mark Dresser and Michael Dessen. With Nicole Mitchell, Stephanie Richards, Min Xiao-Fen, Marty Ehrlich, Satoshi Takeishi, Denman Maroney, Ray Anderson and Sarah Weaver.

Dessen explains that “the purpose of this work is not to use telematics as a substitute for traditional concerts but to extend live performance in new ways. I’ve been especially focused on creating new music specifically for the telematic medium. For me, it’s become a fascinating dialogue: musical practices help us explore the nature of (tele)presence, while the telematic stage inspires new forms of musical experience and community.”

One of the major telematic projects that Dessen and Dresser co-directed, Virtual Tour: A Reduced Carbon Footprint Concert Series, was released on DVD by pfMENTUM. Virtual Tour was a telematic three-concert series in which each concert featured a core quartet of Nicole Mitchell, Myra Melford, Mark Dresser and Michael Dessen in San Diego, performing on three different days with: Marty Ehrlich, Jason Robinson, and Bob Weiner in Amherst, MA; Matthias Ziegler and Gerry Hemingway in Zurich; and Sarah Weaver, Jane Ira Bloom, Min Xiao-Fen, Ray Anderson, and Matthew Wilson in Stony Brook, NY.

Telematic concert, Zurich-San Diego, part of Virtual Tour 2013. CA: Myra Melford, Nicole Michell, Michael Dessen, Mark Dresser. Zurich: Gerry Hemingway, Matthias Ziegler. Video design by Joel Di Giovanni and Benjamin Burger
George Lewis' Spooky Interactions with Geri Allen, Nicole Mitchell, Francis Wong and Michael Dessen, Feb. 2016. Telematic concert between Pittsburg, Irvine and San Francisco.

Excerpt from “for instance, today” (for Virtual Tour 2013), composed by Michael Dessen
Featuring (in San Diego, CA) Mark Dresser, Nicole Mitchell, Myra Melford and Michael Dessen and (in Amherst, MA) Marty Ehrlich, Jason Robinson and Bob Weiner

Recent News: Telematics

selected telematic performances

Interconnections for Peace: A Telematic Concert in Seoul, San Diego and New York City. With Mark Dresser, Nicole Mitchell, Stephanie Richards and Michael Dessen in San Diego; Yoon Sun Choi, Jane Ira Bloom, Matthias Ziegler, David Taylor, Satoshi Takeishi, and Sarah Weaver in NYC; and Yoon Jeong Heo, Jean Oh, A Ram Lee, Min Wang Hwang, and Ji Young Yi in Seoul. Featuring new compositions by Sarah Weaver, Heo Yoon Jeong, Mark Dresser, Nicole Mitchell, Stephanie Richards, and Michael Dessen. June 8, 2018.

Tele-Espacios, a telematic concert within the Festival de la Imagen 2016. Between Manizales, Colombia and San Diego, CA, directed by Michael Dessen, Mario Valencia, Juan David Rubio and Tata Ceballos. Compositions by Michael Dessen, Mario Valencia, Juan David Rubio and Hector Fabio Torres, performed by Santiago Osorio, Yosvany Betancourt, Tommy Babin, Tata Ceballos, Juan David Rubio and Michael Dessen. April, 2016.

“Changing Tides: A Telematic Translocational Concert Series,” part 3: San Diego + Stony Brook, NY. Directed by Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen and Sarah Weaver. Performers: In San Diego, CA: Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, Nicole Mitchell, Stephanie Richards and Myra Melford; in Stony Brook, NY: Marty Ehrlich, Ray Anderson, Min Xiao Fen, Denman Maroney, Satoshi Takeishi and Sarah Weaver. April 10, 2016.

“Spooky Interaction: Lesson II (2016),” a work by George E. Lewis. Between UC Irvine, the University of Pittsburgh and the San Francisco Jazz Center. Co-directed by Michael Dessen, Geri Allen, Aaron Johnson and Mount Allen. Featured performers: At the University of Pittshburgh, PA: George Lewis and Geri Allen; at UC Irvine, CA: Michael Dessen and Nicole Mitchell; at the San Francisco Jazz Center: Francis Wong. Feb. 26, 2016.

“Changing Tides: A Telematic Translocational Concert Series,” part 2: San Diego + Zurich. Directed by Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen and Matthias Ziegler. Performers: In San Diego, CA: Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, Nicole Mitchell, Stephanie Richards and Myra Melford; in Zurich, Switzerland: Matthias Ziegler and Gerry Hemingway. Feb. 13, 2016.

“Changing Tides: A Telematic Translocational Concert Series,” part 1: San Diego + Ansan, Korea. Directed by Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, Tay Yoo and Jun Oh. Performers: In San Diego, CA: Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, Nicole Mitchell, Stephanie Richards and Myra Melford; in Ansan, Korea: Bae Il Dong, Young Dong-Kim, Lee Jungpyo.

New Integrations in Telematic Music. Between Zurich and San Diego, within the Filmatic Festival at UCSD. Featuring musicians Matthias Ziegler, Gerry Hemingway, Michael Dessen, Stephanie Richards, Joshua White and Mark Dresser, with video artists Brian Cross and Benjamin Burger. Co-directed by Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen and Matthias Ziegler. May 2, 2015.

Tele-Espacios, a telematic concert within the Festival de la Imagen 2015. Networked concert between Manizales, Colombia and San Diego, CA, directed by Mario Valencia and Juan Reyes. Production assistance and featured trombonist (in Manizales) on Phase” by Hector Fabio Torres, with Juan David Rubio and Kyle Motl (performers in San Diego). April 23, 2015.

Telematic Zurich Project. Between Zurich, San Diego, CA and Irvine CA. Featuring Matthias Ziegler, Franziska Baumann, Christoph Baumann, Christian Weber, Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen and VJs Joel de Giovanni and Benjamin Burger. Compositions by Ziegler, F. Baumann and C. Baumann. January 18, 2014.

Virtual Tour: A Reduced Carbon Footprint Concert Series. Between UC San Diego and 3 other sites, each on a different night: Amherst, MA; Stony Brook, NY; and Zurich, Switzerland. Featuring compositions/performances by Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, Nicole Mitchell, Jason Robinson, Marty Ehrlich, Gerry Hemingway, Matthias Ziegler and Sarah Weaver, as well as performers Jane Ira Bloom, Ray Anderson, Min Xiao Fen, Matt Wilson, and Bob Weiner. April 5, 6 and 7, 2013. Video documentation coming soon…

Telematic duo performance by Mark Dresser (in San Diego) Michael Dessen (in Irvine), in memory of Nathan Brock, as part of the CineGrid International Workshop. Dec. 10, 2012.

Inspiraling 2011: Telematic Jazz Explorations. Between UC San Diego and NYU, with Mark Dresser, Sarah Weaver, Nicole Mitchell, Joshua White, Michael Dessen, Jane Ira Bloom, Amir ElSaffar, Oliver Lake, Tomas Ulrich, Ikue Mori, Victoria Petrovich, Sarah Jane Lapp and John Crawford. Compositions by Dresser, Weaver and Dessen. Nov. 2, 2011.

Net Works: An evening of telematic music. Composed and performed by Mark Dresser (bass), Myra Melford (piano), and Michael Dessen (trombone), with video by Yotam Mann. Networked performance between UC Berkeley and UC San Diego. April 27, 2011.

Telematic Transform Music. Composed and directed by Sarah Weaver, featuring Gerry Hemingway, Oliver Lake, Mark Dresser, Hadi El-Debek, Dave Taylor, Eldad Tsabary, Stuart Dempster, and Michael Dessen. A networked concert between New York City, Montreal, Seattle, Irvine and San Diego. April 23, 2011.

Telemotions: A Networked Intermedia Concert. Composed and performed by Mark Dresser (bass), Myra Melford (piano), and Michael Dessen (trombone), with scenic designer Victoria Petrovich and intermedia artist John Crawford. Networked performance between UC Irvine and UC San Diego. April 16 and 17, 2011.

Inspiraling: Telematic Jazz Explorations. A networked performance between UC San Diego and New York University, co-presented by Roulette Intermedia. Compositions by Oliver Lake, Gerry Hemingway, Mark Dresser and Sarah Weaver. Performed by Oliver Lake, Gerry Hemingway, Amir ElSaffar and Sarah Weaver (at NYU) and Mark Dresser, Hafez Modirzadeh, Michael Dessen and Alex Cline (at UCSD). June 13, 2010.

Jazz Telemotions: A Networked Trio Concert. Composed and performed by Mark Dresser (bass), Myra Melford (piano), and Michael Dessen (trombone), with scenic designer Victoria Petrovich and intermedia artist John Crawford. Networked performance between UC Irvine and UC San Diego. May 12, 2010.

Faultlines: A Multi-Site Networked Concert. Networked performance between UC Irvine, CA and Buckley Hall, Amherst College, MA. Compositions by Jason Robinson and Michael Dessen, performed by Jason Robinson (saxophone/computer) and Michael Dessen (trombone/computer). April 25, 2010.

Crossing Boundaries: Design Improvisations 2010. Networked performance between UC San Diego and UC Irvine on Bits and Spaces, composed by Michael Dessen and Shahrokh Yadegari, and performed by Michael Dessen (trombone), Shahrokh Yadegari (computer), Alicia Peterson (dance) and Rebecca Salzer (dance). January 12, 2010.

Latent Potentials. Networked performance among UC Irvine and UC San Diego. New compositions by Michael Dessen, Christopher Dobrian and Shahrokh Yadegari with telematic video by John Crawford. Michael Dessen (trombone), Edwin Harkins (trumpet), Mark Dresser(bass), Nathan Hubbard (percussion), Dhiren Panikker (piano) and others. December 13, 2009.

Tele-Jazz. Networked performance among UC San Diego, Banff Center for the Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Dave Douglas (trumpet, composition), Pauline Oliveros (accordion, composition), Michael Dessen (trombone, composition) Mark Dresser (bass), Chris Chafe (celleto, composition), Jonas Braasch (sax), Justin Yang (sax), and others. June 4, 2009.

Transcontinental Circuits: A Multi-Site Networked Concert. UC Irvine, Stanford University, and Amherst College. Michael Dessen (trombone/computer/composition), Jason Robinson (saxohpone/computer/composition) and Adnan Marquez-Borbon (saxophone/computer/composition). April 3, 2009.

Multiplicities: An Inter-Arts Telematic Performance. UC San Diego and UC Irvine. Mark Dresser (bass) and Michael Dessen (trombone/computer), co-directors and composers, with Myra Melford (piano, composition), Oguri (dance), Billy Mintz (drums) and Nancy Ostrovsky (painting). October 25, 2008.

Telematic Concert between UC San Diego, Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Mark Dresser (bass, composition), Michael Dessen (trombone, composition), Myra Melford (piano, compositon), Chris Chafe (cello, composition), David Wessel (electronics), Billy Mintz (drums) and Phillip Larson (voice). February 13, 2008.

PQ Sceneofest (Czech Republic). Duo networked performance between Prague and Irvine, CA with Shahrokh Yadegari (computer) and Michael Dessen (trombone). June 18, 2007.