Silicon Beach: New World Symphony Makes Sweet Music on Internet2
If you're wondering what the new construction is just behind Lincoln Road near the corner of Washington Avenue in South Beach, it's not just a new fancy building by Frank Gehry, but a cutting edge facility that will put Miami Beach on the map for music and technology.
It all started earlier this decade, when the New World Symphony (NWS), America's only orchestral academy, got seed money to implement an Internet2 connection via grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Science Foundation.
Internet2 is not your ordinary interwebs, but rather a special pipeline designated to government, industry and academic institutions. It's less "crowded" than the Internet you and I are used to, so it's more like the express lane on I-95 -- users benefit from exceptional transmission.
From January 25 to 27, NWS held a private Internet2 symposium at the
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Lincoln Theatre in South Beach with demonstrations and workshops led by
an international panel of Internet2 experts. Silicon Beach was present
and witnessed first hand just how effectively the technology works.
a classical pianist, professor and techie from Texas Christian
University, connected live via Conference XP and Internet2 to a student
of his in Fort Worth. The student performed a section of a Rachmaninoff
piece at CD level quality with few glitches. Live video and sound
streamed with little delay so Feghali could coach his student from
Miami without having to be in the same room.
This is not the
same kind of technology ordinary folks are used to in video
conferencing or even chatting on Skype -- the sound is crisp and clear
-- which is crucial for professional musicians perfecting the nuances
of their musical interpretative skills.
in Paris (Institute for Research on Science and Sound), who highlighted
the kind of avant-garde Internet2 music and theater performance
projects going on in Europe and Asia.
included a dance and music performance based on the seismic vibrations
of a volcano, a laptop orchestra from Catalunya, Spain and live
simultaneous music jams online between European cities. NWS is on par
with these explorers redefining music in the digital and new media age.
provides "live" broadcast quality with very little latency. Put simply,
this means that a violin professor in London can coach an NWS student
in Miami Beach without having to cross the pond. This is precisely one
of the ways that NWS has been utilizing Internet2 since January 2000
and will continue to do so when it moves from the Lincoln Theatre to
the new Frank Gehry building, which will be better equipped to handle
One of the first major Internet2 projects at NWS
featured Micheal Tilson Thomas, the academy's director, coaching a
student conductor and orchestra at the Manhattan School of Music in New
York. Since then, composers in other cities have addressed Miami
audiences and participated in rehearsals of their work at the Lincoln
Theatre via Internet2. Numerous master classes have taken place and now
Internet2 is part of the academy's daily educational activities.
During his symposium presentation, Claudio Allochio from GARR mentioned that Glasgow
was a UNESCO "City of Music," part of the organization's Creative
Cities Network, connecting cities who want to share
experiences, ideas and best practices aiming at cultural, social and
economic development. "Miami is not a City of Music yet," Allochio
said, "but could very well be one after the new facility opens."
NWS is scheduled to move into the new facility sometime in 2011.