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Author Topic: Orbis Symphonia  (Read 439 times)
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TriJim
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« on: Dec 11, 2016, 01:05PM »

Anyone else participating in Orbis Symphonia: Virtual Band?  (http://www.orbissymphonia.com/)

Looks like an interesting concept - receive sheet music, sound file, and video direction and then submit a personal video of your performance.  Organizers combine videos to create a virtual group performance.

Their first project is the composition 'Mother Earth is Alive!' by Robert Lee Worthey (per Google appears to be a Euphonium player in Colorado)

Beside the technical difficulties combining video / sound files, I would imagine matching tempo and intonation will be challenging for the individual players.

Share your thoughts.  Anyone ever tried the same with trombone quartet/octect/etc?  Still time to join if you are interested ($5).  (disclaimer - I signed-up to play, but am not otherwise associated with the organizers)

 
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JasonDonnelly
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 14, 2016, 04:58PM »

It certainly sounds like an interesting project, but like you said, I think intonation will be the big kicker. Matching is doable by most players when you can hear the rest of the ensemble, but only the best of us can nail notes every time (I certainly know I'm not one of them!).
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TriJim
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 02, 2017, 07:20AM »

I finished and submitted my video yesterday to Orbis Symphonia (OS) so I thought I’d provide feedback.

  A few delays caused deadlines to slip to March.  Last week OS sent a google drive link to a video showing a director accompanied by a midi performance of the assigned music.  The song ‘Mother Earth Is Alive,’ composed by Robert Lee Worthey, runs about 11 minutes.  The director video is available for download or streaming.  This is OSs first ‘virtual band’ composition.  We were given about 2 weeks to prepare a video of our performance.  The compilation video will be available in ~2 weeks.
 
* Overall a positive learning experience.  The process required some trial and error to create an acceptable combination of audio and video.  The guy in the video still appears older than me.
* Had trouble getting wide angle view with iPhone/iPad camera, used my Canon PowerShot.  Stationary video is a bit boring; I sit in silence for 1:30 waiting to play my first note.
* Initially there was too much background noise on my performer video – squeaky chair, spit valve, computer fan - wound-up recording audio with Presonus Audiobox and a Condenser Microphone and merging the (cleaner) audio back with Windows Live Movie Maker.  Extraneous noises from other performers may reduce the overall quality of the compilation video.
* I streamed the director video to my iPad and listened to the audio with earbuds.   
* Interesting experience playing along with the director video while listening to audio track of midi instruments.  This process helped reduce my earlier concerns with maintaining a consistent tempo and intonation. 
* Looking forward to see/hear the compilation video.  I will participate again.   ‘Virtual Band’ is an interesting option for those that may not have a suitable music group in their area.  I look forward to a virtual reality chat application that allows ensembles an opportunity to practice/perform simultaneously from remote locations. 
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robcat2075

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« Reply #3 on: Mar 02, 2017, 07:33AM »

  I look forward to a virtual reality chat application that allows ensembles an opportunity to practice/perform simultaneously from remote locations. 


"latency" may be an unsolvable problem
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Robert Holmén

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TriJim
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 02, 2017, 07:56AM »

"latency" may be an unsolvable problem
Consider a master 'director' synchronized so everyone sees/hears each movement at the same instant.  The individual player audio steams are synchronized and balanced to produce the combined/simultaneous output.  Of course the players will not hear 'live' audio from the other players - they may need to be fed a midi stream synchronized with the direction to give them an intonation cue.

Where's that 'faster than the speed of light' stuff when you need it?  Don't know
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robcat2075

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« Reply #5 on: Mar 02, 2017, 08:24AM »

I recall the Beatles tried some sort of world wide simultaneous via satellite musical event in the 60s but the latency made it impossible.
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Robert Holmén

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TriJim
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 02, 2017, 08:43AM »

I recall the Beatles tried some sort of world wide simultaneous via satellite musical event in the 60s but the latency made it impossible.
An interesting reference and something I was only peripherally aware of (as a pre-teen at the time).  I learned more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_World_(TV_special)

I'd like to think we've got better technology now, but interesting description of technical problems for the world wide event such as satellite switching in Japan and Australia.

It also begs the question - is the music for the audience or the performer?  What I proposed will provide an ensemble output, but the individual performers only hear their part over a midi soundtrack.
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robcat2075

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« Reply #7 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:15AM »


It also begs the question - is the music for the audience or the performer? 

For most of us, the non-career musicians, the amateurs, the music is for the performer.  There may not even be an audience there when several people get together to play a quartet or a quintet and there won't need to be since the playing together is the purpose for doing it.

That's really what most community bands and orchestras are about.

Playing to a midi track or a video of a conductor will lose the live interaction that makes ensemble playing interesting.
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Robert Holmén

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TriJim
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:45AM »

For most of us, the non-career musicians, the amateurs, the music is for the performer.  There may not even be an audience there when several people get together to play a quartet or a quintet and there won't need to be since the playing together is the purpose for doing it.

That's really what most community bands and orchestras are about.

Playing to a midi track or a video of a conductor will lose the live interaction that makes ensemble playing interesting.

I am inclined to agree with you.  I prefer playing with others (versus practicing at home) and the audience isn't a primary motivator, but I have observed others that won't practice without a performance on the schedule.  [This deserves it's own thread - what motivates or discourages individuals to become part of a group or ensemble.]

Live group practice also allows a good conductor/director to provide immediate feedback to improve the group sound.

Of course an ensemble practice requires time/effort for organizing, travel and set-up at the practice location, and allows less flexibility in scheduling.
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