Play live with your band members 80 kilometres away
For the first time, an ArtEZ student is graduating with a live concert in which his fellow band members are playing live in three different places. The honour for this European première goes to Bob Lammers from ArtEZ Academy of Music. On 16 December, he will give his graduation concert, with band members playing in Arnhem, Enschede and Zwolle. ArtEZ is the first academy of music to use this new technology to create an online fourth location. After years of preparation, this fourth location comes precisely at a time when the need to work together and play music remotely is greater than ever.
Linking the three ArtEZ locations via a digital connection has been named the 4th Location. Rob Kramer, member of the board of ArtEZ Academy of Music: "Each of our three cities has different specialisations. The 4th Location is the platform which ensures that all our students can play live without being together physically."
No more separate files needed
Television, radio and video connections are still dogged by interference and delay. This is not only irritating for discussions in a live broadcast; until recently it also meant that making music remotely was impossible. Musicians used to send each other an audio file on which they would then add their part in their own location. That is no longer necessary.
Global sports events technology
What was once only used for the Olympic Games or football championships is now also available to ArtEZ students. "We have connected our three locations in Arnhem, Enschede and Zwolle with glass fibre," explains Tjerk de Groot, senior audio engineer at ArtEZ. To do this, ArtEZ uses the same technology that is used to broadcast global sports events. With the integration of this technology at the three ArtEZ locations, Academy of Music students can now play live and record unimpeded from their own city location.
Coronavirus increases urgency for 4th location
The need to work together live from different locations has existed for several years. However, the pandemic has made it more urgent. "The technical possibilities are now in place," says Rob Kramer. "The tests went well and on 16 December, we will present the result to the public for the first time with a live graduation concert." ArtEZ Academy of Music has been exploring ways to work together and have classes remotely for some time. Lecturers from the US give lessons and master classes for the MediaMusic programme and the Composition for Film Online is available completely digitally. The 4th Location now adds real time live performance and recording.
In the future, also for theatre and dance
In the long term, it will be possible to use the 4th Location for other ArtEZ programmes, for the live accompaniment of theatre and dance performances, for example. It also offers possibilities to perform together with other music academies in Europe. "You don't notice that the rest of the band are 80 kilometres away, because you can see them and hear them. The connection makes you feel that everyone is making music in the same place," says Bob Lammers.
Graduation concert Bob Lammers
Bob Lammers graduates from the Academy of Pop Music in Enschede. His graduation concert will be broadcast live on Wednesday 16 December between 16.00 and 17.00 and can be watched on artez.nl/conservatorium/live.