NPR video on networked music performance

I appear briefly in a video by NPR’s “Jazz Night in America” called “Playing Music Together Online Is Not As Simple As It Seems,” and they did a great job of explaining the issues a lot musicians are facing now. They focused their story on the challenges of playing together in tight synchrony, which is possible up to around 500-600 miles or so, if you have the right conditions and can get one-way latency down to 30ms or less. Although this video doesn’t address it, another important part of my own community’s work is creating new kinds of music to explore telepresent stages, including at longer distances. Even in cases where there is around 125ms latency, we have still found many creative possibilities, such as in a concert between California and Korea we did in February, just before the lockdown began.

Because of the pandemic, there are more people than ever working on new audio networking tools and improving the existing ones. Lots of great things are on the way soon, but it’s still a hard area to navigate because the high quality software isn’t easy to use (yet). For people seeking tech help, I’ve created some videos and a doc with information, which is all collected on the Networked Music Performance Resources page. I’m planning to add more videos there soon and will keep updating the doc as new tools come out. The Telematics page also has general language about this artistic medium and some pictures from our concerts.