Experiments in Telematic Music (mus237/236)

In 2014 and 2016, I co-taught with Mark Dresser an intercampus, co-located graduate seminar on telematic music. Our seminars met weekly as a combined group for all lectures and lab sections, and the weekly meetings included presentations by many invited guests. Below are some details on the 2014 course. The first course we taught this way between our two campuses was in winter 2013, along with Prof. Roger Reynolds at UCSD.

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 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: