Exploring the audience experience when two bands located at two different venues are performing as one through the use of real-time telepresence technology.
This case-study revolves around the Lydrejsen 2010 concert, where Jacob Anderskov Trio, Copenhagen Saxophone Quartet and Konrad Korabiewski performed together as one band, even though the musicians were located at each their venue. The concert took place at Huset i Magstræde and Kunsthal Nikolaj on the 28th of October 2010. It was a part of the danish music festival Wundergrund 2010.
The project is part of an ICT (Information and communication technology) experiment, testing a new kind of concert experience called a “Cyber Concert”. The technology to make this possible has been developed at Ålborg University and is called “Network Sound”, it is designed to enable musicians to perform together in real time through live-feed video and audio, primarily focusing on the audio.
A case study and focus group interview revolving around Lydrejsen 2010 was conducted with four participants. The analysis revealed that the existing schema for participating in traditional concert situations was not sufficient at the Cyber Concert. New aesthetic qualities and implications were present, causing an indistinct dividing line between ‘the world of live music’ and ‘the world of art’.
This paper uncovers and discusses the audiences experience of the Cyber Concert’s authenticity and aesthetic qualities as opposed to a traditional concert.
Exerpt from the paper:
“The temporal simultaneity in the Cyber Concert creates a shared space (consisting of the audio and video feed and the emotional connectivity between the two audiences and ensembles) that bind the two geographically dispersed (spatially absent) venues together.
The sense of shared space arises when the audience at one venue begin to clap, this prompts an interaction from the other audience to respond. Due to this participation in the other audiences’ experience of their concert, the Cyber Concert make it possible for the audience to fulfill a new role as participators, rather than as observers where the only interaction is a reaction to the musicians songs. The social dimension between the two audiences, take on a new life, different from that of the traditional concert.”
The study concludes that the telepresence based Cyber Concert, when compared to a traditional concert, suffers a loss of authenticity in that the other band does not feel “as present” and therefore much care must go into the design of such a concert. E.g. it is very important that everything feels and looks live (i.e. no lagging of video or sound) as this can interrupt the experience and co-presence.
The Cyber Concert gives way for an entirely authored experience where it becomes important to guide the audience attention. This can be done by utilizing the room qualities and the space within the room (i.e. best placement of speakers and video screens, perhaps even sub-woofers or other technology to create a fake feeling of a drum being present at the other venue, where it wasn’t located, as to give a more immersive experience).