Telematics

The terms “networked music performance” and “telematic music” both refer to live performance via the internet by musicians in different geographic locations. Over the past two decades, this field has been rapidly expanding thanks to new software tools allowing for low-latency, high-quality audio/video networking. While still rare in concert venues due to the technology and bandwidth requirements, musicians and other artists across the world have been exploring the potentials of these technologies, especially at research universities with high-bandwidth networks like Internet2.

Many people are now interested in the possibility of playing music with others via internet in tight synchrony, which requires a one-way latency of roughly 30ms or less. That is an important area of this research, but not the only one. My collaborative telematic community has also created new kinds of music uniquely suited to telepresent stages, including many meaningful collaborations across the planet with slightly higher latencies. These two different ways of using technology – to play in tight synchrony, and to enable new aesthetic forms – need not be in competition, and are both part of my own work.

I’ve been fortunate to participate in over 30 telematic concerts with musicians in South America, Asia and Europe as well as North America. I’ve collaborated with numerous artists such as Mark Dresser, Nicole Mitchell, Myra Melford, Sarah Weaver, Trevor Henthorn, Mario Valencia, Tata Ceballos, Juan David Rubio, Victoria Petrovich, George E. Lewis, Geri Allen, Bae Il Dong, Jun Oh, Jungung Yang, the Black String Ensemble, Jungpyo Lee, Matthias Ziegler, Gerry Hemingway, Joshua White, Stephanie Richards, Wilfrido Terrazas, Jason Robinson, John Crawford, Shahrokh Yadegari and many others. I have also co-taught several intercampus graduate seminars on telematics with Mark Dresser, and I co-led Telematic Bridges / Puentes Telemáticos, a series of summer courses linking youth in North and South America to experience creative music making in an intercultural context.

For technical information about the tools we use, please see the page Networked Music Performance Resources.

Selected telematic concerts

Changing Tides II: A Telematic Translocational Concert. Compositions by Jean Oh, Mark Dresser, Stephanie Richards Jungpyo Lee, Michael Dessen, and Yoon Jeong Heo, all performing along with other performers Bae Il Dong, Aram Lee, Min Wang Hwang, Bo Sul Kim, Wilfrido Terrazas, and Joshua White. Directed in Seoul by Jungung Yang with producer Jun Oh; directed in San Diego by Mark Dresser and Michael Dessen. Seoul, Korea and San Diego, California, Feb. 13/14, 2020.

Tele-Espacios VI, within the Festival Internacional de la Imagen. Compositions by Wilfrido Terrazas, Michael Dessen, Juan David Rubio and Hector Fabio Torres, performed by the Ensamble Música Contemporánea Universidad de Caldas, directed by Yovanny Betancur, with Michael Dessen, Wilfrido Terrazas and Juan David Rubio performing telematically from UC Irvine. Co-director Mario Humberto Valencia. Manizales, Colombia, June 11, 2019.

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. Compositions by Sarah Weaver, Heo Yoon Jeong, Mark Dresser, Nicole Mitchell, Stephanie Richards, and Michael Dessen. June 8, 2018.

Tele-Espacios III, 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. Compositions by Mitchell, Dresser, Dessen, Weaver. April 10, 2016.

“Spooky Interaction: Lesson II (2016),” a composition 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. Compositions by Mitchell, Dresser, Dessen, Ziegler, 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. Compositions by Lee, Young, Mitchell, Dresser, Dessen. Jan. 30, 2016.

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 II, 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, part 3. Between UC San Diego Stony Brook, NY. Compositions Mark Dresser, Nicole Mitchell, Sarah Weaver and Michael Dessen, all performing along with Jane Ira Bloom, Ray Anderson, Min Xiao Fen, and Matt Wilson. April 7, 2013.

Virtual Tour: A Reduced Carbon Footprint Concert Series, part 2. Between UC San Diego and Zurich, Switzerland. Compositions Mark Dresser, Nicole Mitchell, Gerry Hemingway, Matthias Ziegler and Michael Dessen, all performing along with Myra Melford. April 6, 2013.

Virtual Tour: A Reduced Carbon Footprint Concert Series, part 1. Between UC San Diego and Amherst, MA. Compositions Mark Dresser, Nicole Mitchell, Marty Ehrlich, Jason Robinson, and Michael Dessen, all performing along with Myra Melford and Bob Weiner. April 5, 2013.

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. Compositions and performances 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. Compositions and performances 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 2010: 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, Min Xiao Fen, 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. Compositions and performances 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 and performances 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, composition and performance by Michael Dessen (trombone), Shahrokh Yadegari (computer), with Alicia Peterson (dance) and Rebecca Salzer (dance). January 12, 2010.

Latent Potentials. Networked performance among UC Irvine and UC San Diego. 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. Compositions by Dresser and Dessen, performing along with Myra Melford, Oguri, Billy Mintz and Nancy Ostrovsky (painting). October 25, 2008.

Telematic Concert between UC San Diego, Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Compositions by Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, Myra Melford, Chris Chafe, performing along with David Wessel, Billy Mintz and Phillip Larson. February 13, 2008.

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