Experiments in Telematic Music (mus237/236)

In fall 2016, I’ll co-teach with Mark Dresser for the 3rd time an intercampus, co-located graduate seminar on telematic music, one of my own areas of creative research. Each of these seminars is listed as a course of its own at its home institution (UC Irvine or UC San Diego) but the class meets as a combined group for all lectures and lab sections, and Mark and I co-teach the course along with many invited guests.

The first course we taught between our two campuses this way was in winter 2013. That course was also co-taught with Roger Reynolds and titled “Transcending Place and Time: Conceiving, Designing and Constructing New Paradigms,” since it addressed multi-media documentation as well as telematics. In fall 2014, Mark and I taught a seminar focused specifically on telematics called “Experiments in Telematic Music” (see course description and images below), which we’ll teach again in an updated version in fall 2016. For the upcoming course, we hope to incorporate Ultragrid software for video in addition to our main audio tool, Jacktrip.

Course Description: Experiments in Telematic Music

Fall 2014, co-taught by Mark Dresser (UCSD) and Michael Dessen (UCI)

As our world increasingly embraces platforms for integrated audio-visual immersion, and as telecommunications technologies become more sophisticated and more embedded in our daily lives, artists in diverse fields are finding exciting new potentials and challenges in using Internet-based technologies. The focus of this graduate seminar is telematic music, defined here as live, simultaneous performance by musicians in different geographical locations using high-bandwidth, fiber optic networks. All class and lab meetings will be held jointly between UCSD and UCI using video conferencing software (Lifesize Softphone) and audio software specifically designed for telematic music making (Jacktrip). In addition to presentations and discussions led by the two instructors, the course will also feature guest presentations by artists including composer Pauline Oliveros (via Skype), scenic designer Victoria Petrovich, video artists Joel Di Giovanni and Benjamin Burger (via Skype), intermedia artist John Crawford, and composer and video expert Kyle Johnson.

In addition to attending all classes and labs and participating in discussions, your work for this course will consist of the following:

1. Some short technical assignments about technology basics, due in labs early in the quarter
2. A small number of readings on topics in telematics and new media, assigned for selected classes during the quarter.
3. Participation as composer and/or performer on creative projects to be performed on our final concert
4. An individual project for which you may choose to do either a detailed technical and artistic proposal for a creative project, or a research paper on a topic related to telematics.

The course website was restricted to students only, so I cannot share it here. The course culminated in a telematic concert featuring six new compositions by students that explored different aspects of the telematic medium.

Photos from class concert, Irvine location: