The Juilliard School Music Technology Center and Yamaha Join Forces to Stage Unprecedented Multimedia Musical Performance

4/18/2012 [Pianos & Keyboards]

Innovative Music and Technology Collaboration Leverages Yamaha Disklavier RemoteLive Technology; Links Three Pianists On Two Continents in One Remarkable Performance


Multimedia Musical Performance

NEW YORK CITY — The Juilliard School Music Technology Center, in collaboration with Yamaha Corporation of America, redefined the live concert experience with Beyond the Machine: 12.1 Synchroneity - A Festival of Electro-Acoustic and Intermedia Art. Running from March 29 – April 1, the groundbreaking presentation, featuring Yamaha's Disklavier® RemoteLive technology, linked three pianists on two continents and three time zones, via the Internet, in a single, remarkable, live musical performance.

In this first-of-its-kind performance, three pianists played John Cage's Winter Music (scored for 1-20 pianos) together on stage at the Juilliard School's Willson Theater, but with only one pianist physically present. The other two instruments were played live and in real time by musicians in Kakegawa, Japan and Buena Park, California, via Internet-connected Disklavier performance-reproducing pianos, in one of several exciting new applications of Yamaha's pioneering RemoteLive technology. The production was made possible by the support of Yamaha Corporation of America and Yamaha Corporation of Japan, which created this new technology.

The Disklavier is a special acoustic piano fitted with a sophisticated system of sensors that record every aspect of a performance, including pitch, dynamics, phrasing and pedaling. The performance information can be stored on a hard drive and recalled for a later performance. The latest model of Disklaviers can be connected to one another via the Internet. Once connected, the performance information can be transmitted from one instrument to the others – and be immediately reproduced with perfect precision, even on the other side of the globe. Juilliard pianist Allegra Chapman performed in New York City on an acclaimed CFX concert grand piano and was joined by Pianist Luna Inaba in Kakegawa, Japan and Pianist Hojoon Kim in Buena Park, California, both playing Yamaha Disklavier performance-reproducing pianos.

"We wanted to explore whether we could evoke an authentic sense of 'ensemble' and artistic unity by joining performers from different parts of the globe with new technology, such as RemoteLive," said Edward Bilous, artistic director for Beyond the Machine and founding director of The Juilliard Music Technology Center. "This production's success fulfilled our goals of expanding the concert experience, pushing the boundaries of the performing arts and, ultimately, making the world a little smaller."

According to Yamaha Disklavier Marketing Manager Jim Levesque, "It was a thrill to witness RemoteLive technology used to such stunning effect by the Juilliard Music Technology Center. This visionary presentation proves that live musical performance and collaboration can now defy time and space."

The program was complemented by John Cage's works Radio Music for 1-8 Radios (1956); Third Construction for Percussion Quartet (1941); Nick Didkovsky's Zero Waste; and Base Track, based on multimedia artwork by Teru Kuwayama and adapted by Roderick Hill, a journalist/multimedia artist in Afghanistan.

Beyond the Machine is a multimedia performance environment featuring creative artists from around the world who share an interest in new technology and collaboration. With the support of Juilliard's Music Technology Center, actors, dancers and musicians use digital technology to produce new musical sounds, control lighting and video with body sensors, shape audio and video events by moving through a virtual field and interact with artists around the world via the Web.

Juilliard's Music Technology Center was created in 1993 to provide students with the opportunity to use digital technology in the creation and performance of new music. Since then, the program has expanded to include a wide offering of classes, including Introduction to Music Technology, Music Production, Film Scoring, Computers in Performance, and an Independent Study in Composition. In 2009, the Music Technology Center moved to a new, state-of-the-art facility that includes a Mix and Record suite and digital 'Playroom' for composing and rehearsal with technology. Together, with the Willson Theater, the Music Technology Center is the home of interdisciplinary and electro-acoustic projects and performances at Juilliard.

On April 18, the Music Technology Center at Juilliard will be renamed the "Center for Innovation in the Arts" - A Program for the Advancement of Creativity in the Performing Arts and Education with Bilous as director.

For more information on Juilliard's Music Technology Center and Beyond the Machine, please visit http://musictech.juilliard.edu.

For more information about Yamaha products, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622-6600; call (714) 522-9011; e-mail infostation@yamaha.com; or visit www.yamaha.com/.

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