Netspace: the final frontier...

Waikato University researchers are exploring the musical boundaries of netspace through synchronous interactive performances that will alter our perception of live concert going and music composition.

For three years a team led by composer Associate Professor Ian Whalley has opened the annual Telemusic Concert at the International MUSICACOUTICA festival in Beijing with works performed live by musicians playing together from sites in at least three different countries simultaneously. The musicians and the Beijing audience have been linked by multiple HD video and high quality audio channels over high-speed research internet through the new IPV6 format.

These concerts have delivered a three-phased proof of concept for new music composition and performance in netspace. In the first year, musicians in Canada, China and New Zealand used acoustic instruments and intelligent agent machine applications to perform a Whalley composition Mittsu no Yugo. In the second year musicians from Singapore, China and New Zealand performed another Whalley work, KishiKaisei using digital instrument software played through net distributed real-time controllers for the Beijin audience, and streamed live worldwide.

For his latest performance at MUSICACOUSTICA - which also features musicians in Canada, the United States, China and New Zealand - Ian Whalley composed Sensai Na Chikai to showcase a pioneering new musical scoring system for net music. His 'Graphic Network Music Interactive Scoring System' (GNMISS) simultaneously provides a solution for interactive scoring, keeping the players in time, and offering a visual rendition of the work for the audience.

Associate Professor Ian Whalley is also collaborating in a three-year multi-national Australia Research Council-funded project exploring the development of intelligent agent technology to make computers autonomous interactive music players.