Violinist Marjorie Bagley and cellist Cheng-Hou Lee took part in
performance on Tuesday to demonstrate the musical potential of
Internet2 videoconferencing technology. They played the
Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia with Bagley in Philadelphia and Lee
some 820 miles away in DeKalb, Illinois.
The demonstration employed low-latency audio and videoconferencing software, nicknamed LOLA, which has been developed in Italy by the GARR Italian Academic & Research Network and the Conservatorio G. Tartini in Trieste. The technology reduces the latency, or transmission delay, to around 35 milliseconds, which means the players feel like they are on the same concert stage. Most commercial audio and videoconferencing services operate with delays of more than 200 milliseconds, which is not good enough for simultaneous musical performance.
LOLA only operates on Internet2, an advanced network providing high-speed broadband to a consortium of US academic and research institutions. The Curtis Institute of Music, the New World Symphony in Miami, and the Northern Illinois University School of Music are among those who have started to use LOLA.
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