The Use of Low-Latency, High-Quality Technology in the Performing Arts Hits Home During Pandemic

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Internet2’s Ann Doyle shares her personal account of adopting technology at home to perform music in advance of the Network Performing Arts Production Virtual 2021 Workshop on April 27-28

By Ann Doyle, Internet2

It is Sunday, March 21, more than a year since I have played music with another musician — a life-affirming, must-have activity for me as a songwriter and musician. Curiously, I am the founder of Internet2 Cultural and Performing Arts initiatives and have guided these efforts, including the annual Network Performing Arts Production Workshop, for many years — but I have never used any of these technologies myself.

Ann Doyle rehearsing online.

In part, I have not personally utilized low-latency, high-quality technical innovations in the performing arts at home as these technologies require advanced research and education (R&E) network infrastructure that spans the world. During the COVID pandemic, everything changed. My inbox blew up, as did so many colleagues across the U.S. and Europe, with requests to help faculty and students who no longer had access to our advanced R&E infrastructure and were confined to their homes and their home broadband networks.

We pivoted the best we could. We documented which technologies worked best for remote teaching and performing over home broadband networks. And we are giving a lot of thought to how we believe the world might look going forward.  

Workshop Presenters to Share Lessons Learned

The Network Performing Arts Production Virtual 2021 Workshop includes presenters from across the world who have been in the trenches, who are willing to share what they have learned, and help us explore an interesting new future. This will likely couple developments in technologies relying on Internet2, GÉANT and partner networks, and also our home networking infrastructures.  

Ann Doyle’s makeshift home studio.
Join us for the Network Performing Arts Production Virtual 2021 Workshop
Date: April 27-28, 2021
Register today!

This year’s workshop will explore emerging solutions and lessons learned during 2020, including the transition to a substantial reliance on home broadband connections.
The workshop will be presented in a virtual, condensed format.

Following this kick-off gathering, a series of webinars will be offered throughout 2021 focusing on advanced networked technologies enabling master classes, remote auditions, and multisite performances.

Whether you are still navigating COVID on your campus, confined to your home and missing playing with other musicians, or are intrigued to learn more about R&E network-enabled performance tools going forward, this no-charge workshop will be your opportunity to hear from experts across the world.   

Back to Me at the Studio

In the meantime, back to March 21, 2021. I have decided to team up with Solid Sound recording studio owner and audio engineer, Eric Wojahn, to utilize a Stanford-developed technology called JackTrip – one of many technologies we will highlight in the upcoming workshop. In part, I wanted to prototype what a non-digital native baby boomer could do with no in-house technical support. And Eric wanted to prototype rehearsing and recording at a distance.  

With a loaner mixer from Eric, large enough to produce Bonnaroo I noted as I dragged it down my basement stairs, the JackTrip Virtual Studio device, ethernet cables, cords, and chords, we rehearsed a song together with me on guitar and vocals and Eric on bass. We were both somewhat dumbfounded, almost in tears, and having a blast doing what we love most –- playing music with each other!  

We hope you’ll join us April 27-28 for the Network Performing Arts Production Virtual 2021 Workshop with experts and kindred spirits. We will provide updates on research in advanced networking-enabled technologies and we will share how we pivoted during COVID, what we learned, and our insights for the future.