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Network Performing Arts Production Workshop Highlights

May 23, 2019, by Ann Doyle
Tags: Advanced Network Services, Advanced Networking, Applied Research, Internet2 Network, Network Infrastructure, Research, Research Solutions

Sixty-plus attendees from more than 23 countries gathered in Prague in early April to share updates on the latest audio and video technologies running over advanced research and education networks to enable performing artists, faculty, and students to collaborate across the globe.

The purpose and interests ranged from hosting master classes with experts unable to travel to remote locations, hosting remote auditions, engaging students in multi-site theater productions, and better understanding an emerging art form encompassing dance, music, and video artistry.  

The workshop series is sponsored by GÉANT and Internet2 with primary thanks to our GÉANT colleagues, Domenico Vicinanza and Gyongyi Horvath, as our European sponsors. We were greeted by Irvin Venyš, vice-dean of Music and Dance Faculty, HAMU, and Jan Gruntorád, director of CESNET.  

"Notably, our CESNET colleagues and hosts, Sven Ubik and Miloš Liška, are well known in this space for their networking competence and the development of highly regarded tools such as UltraGrid and MVTP – both network demanding hardware solutions delivering 8K video and low latency audio."

Claudio Allocchio, GARR, provided updates on the latest LOLA solutions, including the ability to now run LOLA on a laptop as well as a proof-of-concept project that ran LOLA over a 5G network. Sven Ubik, CESNET, presented the current state of the MVTP programmable hardware for ultra-low-latency video and audio, and Milos Liška presented updates on UltraGred focusing on recent developments and cases studies.

Other sessions included an overview and background orientation of the technologies, history, and future directions for this community by Justin Trieger, New World Symphony, and myself; a tutorial by Matti Ruippo, Tampere University, on innovations in online music resources being utilized by his students; and an update by Evgueni Efimov on the EaPConnect partnership and collaborations in Belarus.

Our first day concluded with host Sven Ubik’s great gamble – an outdoor attendee dinner in the lovely Vrtbovska Garden. Sven explained to me that weather in Prague the first week in April can be either warm and sunny, or cold and snowy. We were treated to glorious sunshine and a very happy host!   

Presentations the second day of the workshop included the results of a hackathon that highlighted multiple remote performances, including an improvisation session with volunteer attendee and trumpet soloist, David Spencer from the University of Memphis.

Marek Frič, AMU, presented a demonstration and overview of research and experimental work in distance measurement techniques for telemedicine in communication disorders and treatment methodologies.

Day two programming concluded with a panel I moderated with some of the most gifted multi-site performance producers, technicians, artists in the world – all utilizing research and education networks to produce their work.

Panelists included:

  • Renate Kreil, University of Vienna, ACOnet
  • Maria Isabel Gandia Carriedo, CSUC
  • Justin Trieger, New World Symphony
  • Thomas Gorman, Coventry University
  • Matthias Ziegler, Zurich University of the Arts
  • Patrick Müller, Zurich University of the Arts
  • Sarah Weaver, NowNet Arts, USA

At the conclusion of day two, we were treated to a fascinating multi-site performance that inter-connected three organists from St. Lawrence Church, Simon and Juda Church, and Martinu Hall at the HAMU venue - with the addition of dancers from HAMU and remote dancers from the Konic Theatre in Barcelona. It was notable to have three massive organs all playing together – something that simply can’t be achieved without our technologies bridging together these venues.  

Our final day concluded with an exposé on the latest technologies in Ambisonics over R&E networks.  And we concluded with a wrap-up by Domenico Vicinanza, GEANT, and the exciting unveiling of next year’s host location and dates: 

April 21 – 23, 2020
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s at Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (
EMPAC

For more details, go to https://npapws.org/