High speed European research networks and advanced software underpin international violin performance
Barcelona and Trieste, 15 June 2011 – Musicians have successfully publically played together in real-time, despite being located 2700km away from each other. Using advanced multimedia software to reduce latency delays and powerful GARR, RedIRIS and GÉANT research networks, violinists performed Bela Bartok Suites for 2 violins while located at both the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Tartini in Trieste.
The performance, part of the TERENA Network Performing Arts Production Workshop, was made possible by the Low Latency (LOLA) project, developed by the Conservatorio di Musica Tartini, Trieste, and the Italian research and education network GARR. It uses completely re-written audio and video transmission software to reduce latency and jitter, sending pictures and sound in real-time to give the impression to both performers and the audience that all musicians are in the same venue. The aim of the project is to enable greater musical collaboration and save valuable time and cost when bringing together musicians to rehearse and play together.
Achieving this level of performance requires high speed, reliable and very stable networks providing guaranteed bandwidth of up to 500 Mbps. The public Internet cannot deliver this level of quality, introducing significant latency into the process – disastrous for successful performances. These demanding requirements can currently only be met by using research networks, such as GARR in Italy, RedIRIS in Spain and the pan-European GÉANT network, which links the two together.
“As musicians we want to collaborate with our colleagues wherever they are located and were frustrated that the Internet couldn’t provide the level of performance that we needed. The LOLA project is very exciting as it combines specially optimised software with high speed, robust, end-to-end networks to enable us to work together in real-time – it feels like everyone is in the same studio for both musicians and the audience,” said Massimo Parovel, director, Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Tartini, Trieste. “The success of our violin performance between Barcelona and Trieste shows the limitless potential for musical collaboration which LOLA brings to the world of performing arts. Working with GARR and GÉANT has been vital in achieving our vision now and moving forward.”
The 10 minute concert featured Sebastiano Frattini and Laura Agostinelli. The two sites were connected using an end-to-end link that used the Conservatorio Tartini LAN, the Trieste Lightnet Metropolitan Optical Network, the GARR backbone, GÉANT, the Spanish RedIRIS research network backbone, the AnellaCientífica network, managed by the Centre de Supercomputació de Catalunya (CESCA) in Barcelona, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu link to Anella Científica. The performance was routed via Madrid and to provide these links all the research networks involved worked closely together to create a reliable connection to ensure a seamless performance.
“The success of the LOLA project demonstrates the positive effect technology can have on international collaboration – whether in the arts or the sciences,” said Matthew Scott, General Manager of DANTE, the organisation which on behalf of Europe’s National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) has built and operates the GÉANT network. “The combination of advanced software and high speed research networks provides the perfect platform to allow those separated by distance to work together. In this case LOLA helps musicians collaborate effectively, meeting a pressing need, while demonstrating the potential to be extended to many other applications and areas.”
Following the success of the Barcelona performance, LOLA has ambitious plans for musicians in multiple locations to perform together as a virtual music group in the autumn of 2011, demonstrating the potential of LOLA to help musical collaboration.
The technology behind LOLA has applications far beyond music, and is already being used at Stanford University in the US as part of studies into human perceptions of latency. Other performing arts which can benefit from real-time collaboration, such as dance and theatre, can also use the software. In the field of medicine, LOLA could enable surgery to be carried out remotely in real-time by experts hundreds of miles away as well as enabling the teaching of new techniques across Europe.
The LOLA project aims to enable real time musical performances where musicians are physically located in remote sites, connected by advanced network services, such as those provided by National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) and international backbones such as GÉANT and other International backbones.
LOLA is a project developed by the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Tartini from Trieste (Italy) in collaboration with GARR, the Italian Research and Academic Network, and was conceived in 2005 after a demonstration of the first intercontinental viola MasterClass between the GARR National User’s Conference in Pisa (Italy), and the New World Symphony music academy in Miami (USA).
GARR is the Italian Research and Education Network, interconnecting all major Academic and Scientific organizations in Italy. The GARR network infrastructure covers the whole national territory providing widespread broadband access and full support to innovative applications such as Grids, Telemedicine, e-Learning, Multimedia, High Energy Physics, Radio-Astronomy. The existing backbone is being currently replaced by GARR-X, the next-generation, multi-service network based on leading-edge optical circuits and technologies, that will dramatically enhance global performances. For more information, visit: www.garr.it
RedIRIS is the Spanish national research and education network, that provides advanced communication services to more than 400 Spanish institutions (mainly universities and research centers). It is funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and is included in the Ministry's map of Special Scientific and Technological Facilities. It is managed by the Public Corporate Entity Red.es, which reports to the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade.
About Anella Científica
Anella Científica is the regional research and education network in Catalonia. Created in 1993 and managed by CESCA, it connects about ninety universities, institutions and research centers. Anella Científica provides a wide data transmission capacity among all the connected institutions, providing them with end to end services to foster the collaboration between researchers and connecting them to the Spanish NREN, RedIRIS, and to the Catalan Neutral Internet Exchange, CATNIX.
GÉANT is the high speed European communication network dedicated to research and education. In combination with its NREN partners, GÉANT creates a secure, high speed research infrastructure that serves 40 million researchers in over 8,000 institutions across 40 European countries. Operating at speeds of up to 40 Gbps, GÉANT is the world’s largest and most advanced multi-gigabit network dedicated to research and education. Building on the success of its predecessors, GÉANT has been created around the needs of users, providing flexible, end to end services that transform the way that researchers collaborate. GÉANT is at the heart of global research networking through wide ranging connections with other world regions, underpinning vital projects that bridge the digital divide and benefit society as a whole.
Co-funded by the European Commission under the EU’s 7th Research and Development Framework Programme, GÉANT is the e-Infrastructure at the heart of the EU’s European Research Area and contributes to the development of emerging internet technologies. The project partners are 32 European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), TERENA and DANTE. GÉANT is operated by DANTE on behalf of Europe’s NRENs. For more information, visit www.geant.net
DANTE is a non-profit organisation, coordinator of large-scale projects co-funded by the European Commission, and working in partnership with European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) to plan, build and operate advanced networks for research and education. Established in 1993, DANTE has been fundamental to the success of pan-European research and education networking. DANTE has built and operates GÉANT, which provides the data communications infrastructure essential to the success of many research projects in Europe. DANTE is involved in worldwide initiatives to interconnect countries in the other regions to one another and to GÉANT. DANTE currently manages projects focussed on the Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific and central Asia regions through the EUMEDCONNECT, TEIN and CAREN projects respectively. For more information, visit www.dante.net.
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